Perfume Reviews

Reviews by 500DaysofSemmler

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Total Reviews: 107

Fève Délicieuse by Christian Dior

Feve Delicieuse is another of the 2018 reformulated Maison Dior scents, and sadly it seems like the reformulation took a toll. The performance here is similarly weak to Ambre Nuit. The scent itself is decent. It's a substantial gourmand, with lots of tonka, caramel and cherry. There is also a plasticky vibe, common to all 3 scents I've tried from the line so far. Other reviewers have said it's a bit like play-doh, and I'd agree with that. It reminds me of the plastic in Mugler's Pure Tonka, which I liked but was similarly confused by. However, Pure Tonka was a beast, and at $70/100ml! In all, even if the scent was really nice, I can't spend hundreds on a fragrance that requires me to douse.
10th February, 2020

Ambre Nuit by Christian Dior

Ambre Nuit is a bit of a meh experience for me. It's a rose and amber combo with a little sharp citrus sitting at the top. Not feminine like I was expecting it to be. The rose doesn't stand out sharply. I also get a bit of plastic or rubberyness that I normally associate with oud, however it's not a listed note here.

It's also super soft. I've heard that many of the maison Dior line have been watered down over the years, and my experience with AN falls in line with that expectation. I'll be sure to give it another few wearings and see if I can get a bit more oomph out of it. But for now, the performance doesn't match the price. I also have Feve Delicieuse, Spice Blend, and Oud Ispahan to try, to see if they've fared a bit better.
09th February, 2020

Aventus by Creed

The Emperor (or "The King", rather) Has No Clothes. The hype around Aventus is unlike anything else in the fragrance community. People are so sure this is the perfect juice they're buying up different batch variations, because who can survive with just ONE bottle of Aventus?

The reality? It's ok. Nothing special to my nose. Maybe its formula was novel in 2010, but now that there's a host of imitators out there, it feels practically generic. The opening starts with a blast of fruit. Pineapple, blackcurrant and bergamot. Then within minutes, the fruity notes give way to woods and musk underneath. I also think that Creed has some common DNA between it's fresher fragrances, the drydown of this reminds me of the drydown of SMW which reminds me of the drydown of MI.

Sadly, the Emperor also has some poor performance. I sprayed myself 5 times and I'm getting very little projection, outside of that initial 5 minute fruit blast. It sticks on clothes a bit but dies pretty quickly on bare skin. Doesn't live up to the hype. But also, what could?
28th January, 2020
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1270 by Frapin

For as interesting as the notes list of 1270 is, it doesn't impress me terribly. For the first hour 90% of what I get is pineapple, with a hint of cocoa. So, I'm reminded primarily of the slew of Aventus clones that have flooded the market. Then, after a little I start to get more cocoa and guiac wood, which adds a bit of depth but doesn't do enough for me to catch a ton of interest.

The performance is also just terrible. I think this is the worst projection out of any scent I've tried. I ended up using the entirety of my 1ml sample over the courses of a couple hours because it just would not come off my skin. Just sat there the whole time. An overall disappointment.
26th January, 2020

Civet by Zoologist Perfumes

Civetone, while a staple of perfumery past, isn't much appreciated in the modern era. That's why I was a bit at unease with the concept of a Civet-based fragrance. That's of course until I tried it. Looking at the notes list you can see that this gives the impression of the lifestyle of the cute little cat, far more so than the molecule it's known for could. The flowers and greens give and idea of the habitat, and the coffee nods to Kopi Luwak.

This isn't a heavily animalic fragrance, and I appreciate that. I can only really notice the harsh parts of the civet note in the first thirty seconds. Past that, everything blends really well together. I will say though that this really needs warmth to bring out some of the special aspects. My wrists dim into dry resins and incense quite quickly whereas my chest projects sweet honeyed florals for longer.

Overall I would say this is a modernized version of an older era of perfumery, and done well. The kind that makes me appreciate things I wouldn't normally. It's not one of my favorites, personally, but I definitely see the value here.
24th January, 2020

Moth by Zoologist Perfumes

At first sniff, Moth and Bee seem like the yin and yang of the bug world. Both are dry and dusty. But whereas Bee is sunshine and sweetness, Moth is spices, smoke and skank.

I was kind of at unease with my first sniff. Someone at the shop described it as beating all the dust out of an old Victorian dress, and mixing it with honey. It was dusty and smoky for sure, but there was also something sharp and unpleasant dominating the profile. It may have been the oud, which can be hit or miss for me. It vaguely reminded me of the burning plastic smell of some of Montale's more hefty ouds. That sharpness kicks around for about the first hour, particularly strongly on my wrists.

Then things start to open up, and Moth becomes less of an opposite to Bee, and more of a sibling. Honeyed florals warm up and sweeten the whole affair. What was once a harsh abrasive scent becomes much more pleasant. Is it worth sitting through an hour of grossness to get to? Maybe. At least just to try. But IMO everything that this does well, Bee does better.
23rd January, 2020

Macaque by Zoologist Perfumes

Macaque won't turn heads, but it really is quite nice. Green tea and sour apple are very clear, and are wrapped in a blanket of flowers and herbal notes. I can't say I've ever smelled galbanum before so it's hard for me to know how much it dominates those herbal notes. But there is something familiar here I can't quite put my finger on, so maybe it's that. I don't tend to like oakmoss but it works here in a small amount.

It smells altogether very familiar. There's also something cooling about the mix, when I take a close sniff, it feels like it's gently soothing and opening up my sinuses like Vick's VapoRub. Compared to Panda 2017 it's by far the better apple/tea scent. Much more natural feeling. Not a favorite but it's pleasant. Easily one of the most wearable in the collection, while still not boring.
22nd January, 2020

Panda (2017) by Zoologist Perfumes

Panda (2017) starts with a blast of ISO-E super. Which is disappointing, because it's shared by so many generic men's fragrances. You can smell a bit of the tea, citrus and apple, but that synthetic dry wood note cuts strongly through everything and dominates the scent. So sharp and irritating, it kinda burns my nose, and I liked T. Rex haha. This keeps going for a while, it isn't until about 3 hours in that the synthetics start to calm down and you get a bit more of what's underneath. Still there, but softer. And to be honest by that point my nose is already kinda blown out.

I'm also struggling to figure out where others are getting earthy notes from. This is an uncharacteristically fresh fragrance for the house. I don't get anything earthy, skanky, or challenging. It doesn't remind me of a forest, or anything else out of the natural world, it just reminds me of other fragrances. Longevity and sillage are both huge, but no point to that if I don't like the scent. Is it wearable? Sure, but so is Bleu de Chanel. Zoologist has far more interesting scents.
21st January, 2020

Squid by Zoologist Perfumes

I was so excited when I found out Zoologist was doing a marine animal with Squid. I love marine life, and thought it was a long time coming (and that they should make more of them!).

I definitely get the ink here. Something about this is decidedly "viscous". It's not light or refreshing like Acqua di Gio or a host of other aquatics, this is dark abyssal water. There aren't any blue resins out there to my knowledge, but that's the impression I get. Rich, smooth, dark blue resin.

I wouldn't describe it as a particularly bombastic scent. It's well-made and evokes the Squid imagery well, but it's actually pretty laid back. A squid is muted in terms of personality, stoic and aloof, and I feel the same way about this scent, so I guess it's pretty appropriate. Maybe it's just that I'm coming from the blood and chaos of wearing T-Rex yesterday. This is certainly wearable, and is a bit softer projection wise. For now it's quite pleasant but not a favorite. However, I definitely want to sit with this one a bit longer. I have a feeling it will grow on me.
20th January, 2020

Tyrannosaurus Rex by Zoologist Perfumes

T-Rex is a beast of a fragrance. It will swallow you whole. The notes list doesn't look that unusual, but the effect produced is something else entirely.

They wanted to create the scent of a dense, hot jungle. Humid greenery, ripe indolic flowers? Check.
They wanted the scent of a giant, mauling its prey. Animal musks, blood accord? Check.
They wanted the scent of prehistoric chaos, lava and wildfires. Smoke, tar, burnt flesh? Check.

Everything they wanted to do they did, and I commend Zoologist for it. In a purely artistic sense this fragrance is a 5/5. It creates insane imagery. I could never wear this to work, but it has a special place as something for me to enjoy all to myself on the weekends.
19th January, 2020 (last edited: 02nd February, 2020)

Bee by Zoologist Perfumes

The opening of Bee is so unique; dry, dusty and faintly floral. It recreates the scent of pollen so realistically I half expected myself to start sneezing at my first sniff. I've realized I don't really enjoy heliotrope that much, or the babypowder vibe it has. Luckily, while I can tell that it's present in the pollen accord here, it's not that noticeable and the accord is very pleasant to me.

After a little while the pollen calms down, and the scent starts to get heavier and more resinous (with beeswax), and sweeter (with honey). The honey is also super realistic, as well. Not just a sticky sugar syrup, but reminiscent of the fancy stuff where you get a hint of the flowers that were pollinated as well. I don't get too much of the ginger and orange, maybe a bit on my chest, but I don't mind terribly, the rest of the scent is good enough on it's own.

The projection isn't nearly as strong as some other scents in the house, but it's also an extrait so I guess you can expect it to sit a bit closer to the skin. I do wish I got a bit better performance overall, but in the end there is nothing out there that smells quite like this.
18th January, 2020

Dodo by Zoologist Perfumes

"A peculiar fougere" is a good way to describe Dodo. It isn't swamped with soapyness or oakmoss. Instead, it combines fruityness (primarily lychee), ocean air (ambergris) and fresh greenery (fern / fir / geranium). You can tell it hearkens to the fougere style, but it is so much more than that. I don't like fougeres all that much, personally. But I like Dodo.

I don't get the feathery musks all that much, which is probably a good thing. But I really like the imagery here, the windswept island, coated in ferns, with lots of fresh lychee berries. My wrists tend to push greener and more fougere like, whereas my chest tends to stay fruitier. The longevity isn't the best, it doesn't project after the first two hours and starts to sit close to the skin. But it still chugs along as a pleasant skin scent for a good while. Not my favorite of the line so far (that title still belongs to Chameleon for now) but I definitely like this one.
17th January, 2020

Dragonfly by Zoologist Perfumes

The opening is an exceedingly powdery floral. Not in a makeup-powdery iris kind of way, but more of a babypowder way. I figure I mostly get the heliotrope and peony. It comes off a bit too old-womanly for my tastes. The opening is also very dry, I don't get much of the rain or rice at all.

Then after about 45 min things start to get "wetter" per se. The florals get less sharp, and the scent overall gets a bit deeper with the "rain notes" coming in. But the vibe still stays primarily very floral and powdery.

My overall impression is that this is a bit too feminine for me. I don't think my nose is as tuned to this kind of fragrance as others, most Zoologist scents have something that separates them from the pack, but I personally struggle to differentiate this from the other few scents in this category that I've tried. Despite the fact that there's no white florals to be found in this, it reminds me quite a bit of Serge Lutens' Datura Noir. Given that, I would say to take my lukewarm review with a grain of salt, as I may not be able to pick up on some important nuances. The house is a favorite of mine, so if this is your style of fragrance, still be sure to give it a sample!
16th January, 2020
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Vodka on the Rocks by By Kilian

The opening is a realistic clear liquor for sure, though I actually get a bit more gin from it than I do vodka. Then quickly (and I mean within 15 minutes) a lot of synthetic notes come to the forefront. Aquatics, ambroxes, what have you. This could be an intentional transition, or it could be that the initial vodka impression they've created can only stay stable so long, and as it starts to unravel the synthetics used become more and more apparent.

By the 30 minute mark it's hard to tell this apart from a host of other designer freshies. Is it good for one of those? Yes. But, at nearly $6/ml the comparison is pretty embarrassing. This isn't an awful scent, but ultimately it smells similar to so many things that are a tenth of the price.
10th January, 2020

Yesterday Haze by Imaginary Authors

Yesterday Haze is a strong and somewhat funky gourmand. It's not cloying, but right away it hits you in the face with a tart figs, rich cream, and sweet tonka. I've tried other fig fragrances and thought they were too green and not fruity enough. Well now I've gotten what I asked for and it's almost a bit more than I need.

After about an hour that tart sweetness is cut with an especially buttery iris note, as well as some nuttiness a bit later. The profile is constantly shifting as each note comes into or out of the mix. Ultimately I don't think the scent is for me, but I really appreciate how unique it is, there is a lot going on here. Some could say it's all over the place, but I appreciate that. There are too many boring fragrances out there.
09th January, 2020

O, Unknown! by Imaginary Authors

O, Unknown! I wish I knew you long ago. This is such a clean refreshing orris. That's a sentence I never thought I'd say. I used to hate the note, but now it's something I like quite a lot. This isn't a rich buttery orris along the likes of Dior Homme Parfum or Givenchy Gentleman EDP, this is light and sweet.

I was excited to try another tea fragrance after really enjoying Winter Palace by MEMO. At first I couldn't pull out the tea note all THAT strongly, but then I realized where it was hiding. After about the first hour the orris started to subdue a bit, and the fragrance smelled more and more like a mix of Dior Homme and Silver Mountain Water. I hadn't smelled SMW in a while so I looked up the note list... blackcurrant, musk, and green tea! Mystery solved. There are plenty cheap SMW clones out there at this point, but anyone who really likes the scent ought to give this a try. It is by no means a clone, it's unique and very much it's own thing, but it might surprise you.

Also, in my last Imaginary Authors review I talked about common DNA between IA fragrances. That surely doesn't apply here. To me this doesn't smell at all like anything Josh has ever put out.

Overall this is a super pleasant fragrance. Unique enough to stand out, but also pleasant enough to be an office work daily-driver. My only complaint is the projection is a little weak. It sticks fairly close to the skin. If this was as strong as my DHP, I'd be hemming and hawing over which I'd really like in my collection. But, as it stands I'll keep my DHP.
08th January, 2020

Tiger's Nest by Memo

Tigers Nest is a hefty amber. At first I get lime, rose and lots of resins. There could be absinthe there too but it's hard for me to judge not having smelled the note on its own. I personally don't really like rose as a note, it often comes off a bit indolic/fecal to me, making the opening a bit too challenging here. But it starts to calm down after an hour or so. Overall its not really my jam, but I can see others liking it, especially if they aren't opposed to rose.
07th January, 2020

Winter Palace by Memo

Another beautiful fragrance that is a flash in the pan. The opening of Winter Palace is delicious. The orange and the tea notes mix really well and have me constantly coming back for another sniff. If I could smell just like that all the time I would.

Which makes it a shame that the beautiful scent of the opening only lasts a couple hours on my skin. Afterward there is a subtle ambery drydown that lingers very close to the skin, but without any of the addictive qualities it had before. Citrus scents are bound to leap off the skin quickly, so this should be somewhat expected. Nonetheless I can't see myself paying $300 for something I only like the first 2 hours of. Still absolutely worth a sample.
07th January, 2020

Every Storm a Serenade by Imaginary Authors

Imaginary Authors to me is a house with its own persistent DNA. Despite each being a unique artistic expression, there is a hard to describe commonality between their scents.

This is especially true for Every Storm a Serenade. In addition to the typical IA DNA there are also couple notes clearly shared with their other scents. The smoky driftwood of Whispered Myths, a bit of pine from Cape Heartache, some sea salt from Falling Into the Sea. Unfortunately, the two things unique to this particular IA scent are two notes that are generic otherwise: calone and vetiver. This all leaves me feeling like I'd rather be wearing their other scents.

It's by no means a bad scent, but the house is capable of a lot more exciting things than this.
07th January, 2020

Baraonda by Nasomatto

Baraonda grabbed me right away. At first sniff I had the most realistic whiskey note I've ever smelled. Not nondescript "booziness", pure aged whiskey. I never took a look at the note list though, so I wasn't expecting a sudden change.

After a couple hours, the scent evolved and pick up a heady rose note. Now I'm not a fan of roses. Some skanky rose + Oud combos have turned me off in the past, but the rose isn't bad here. Still not a favorite of mine because of that. But, overall a pretty nice scent, regardless of my personal preferences.
26th December, 2019

Soleil Blanc by Tom Ford

The obvious comparison to sun cream is there, but Soleil Blanc is something more too. It comes off practically edible in a way sunscreen isn't, maybe it's the pistachio. I consider it a gourmand, a thick sunscreen whipped cream.

Lacking the citrus of the EDT, this does sit closer to the skin. But that thickness keeps it on the skin a little longer, a good trade-off for hot weather. Would I like stronger projection at this price point? Sure. But nothing else out there smells quite like it. A favorite for sure.
26th December, 2019

Herod by Parfums de Marly

The opening of Herod is really nice, quite similar to TV but with a bit of that nondescript PdM DNA. I've tried Layton and Oajan and there is a commonality among the three that I find hard to pin down. The opening also projects strongly. I put a single spritz on my wrist at first before a full wearing and even that was still giving me strong wafts.

Sadly, that strength only lasts a couple hours on me. It quickly quiets down and the scent morphs a little bit. At the 2.5 hour mark it starts to smell more like a very soft version of MM's Jazz Club. For some that may be a plus. Jazz Club grossed me out however, and while not 100% the same, this reminds me too closely of the things I don't like about it.

People call PdM a glorified clone house. And in sense they're right with Herod. It's simultaneously a clone of two well-liked tobacco scents. They do each half justice, and it ends up a nice scent on its own terms. But for the price, I'd rather just have a small bottle of TV.
17th December, 2019

1725 Casanova by Histoires de Parfums

As a fan of Lord George by Penhaligon's I've been on the lookout for other sweet, creamy barbershop fragrances. This is pretty nice, but it is also different than I was expecting. It's a little less shaving cream than Lord George and a lot more gourmand. It actually has quite a bit in common with Givenchy Pi, original Le Male, or even the drydown of Lost Cherry. Sadly, on me the projection is very weak. I attempted to overspray the rest of my sample and while that brings up the sillage, it also brings out some qualities that remind me of Le Male. Overall, its not quite what I was looking for, but its worth a try.
15th December, 2019 (last edited: 03rd February, 2020)

Accord Oud by Byredo

I find that Accord Oud has a lot of similarities to TF Oud Wood. It's not quite as sweet, at least in the "baked goods" sense that I get from Oud Wood, but it's well rounded and also a bit more musky. It's pretty pleasant, I'm not sure I prefer the scent to OW overall, but what I do prefer is the performance. OW never stuck on my skin for longer than a couple hours, this lasts all workday, and will stick to your clothes for days after. For niche prices, that's the kind of performance we deserve, so good on you Byredo.
15th December, 2019

Falling into the Sea by Imaginary Authors

Falling into the Sea is definitely a pleasant scent. But, its also a little samey. Lychee sounds like it could be such a cool note, and I was excited to try it. But here it's swamped out by all the lemon and grapefruit. This is much more of a citrus fragrance than anything else. There's also some vague floralness that helps in the tropical vibe. But it all feels kinda nondescript, like I've basically smelled it all before. Definitely an easy wear, but not the best among the line, nothing grabs me to wear it again.
30th November, 2019

The Soft Lawn by Imaginary Authors

I love the Imaginary Authors brand. But sadly this is not a winner for me. I sprayed my wrists and my chest. On my wrists I get some vague greenery. Could give off a grass clippings vibe, which is what they were going for, but overall my wrists were pretty subtle.

My chest however, was a different story. Right out the gate my chest starts with the "clay court" accord. It wasn't bad, just funky. But then after 30 minutes things took a turn for the worse. Some of the green notes warmed up and combined in a weird way and my chest started to emanate two things: dill and mustard. Neither are in the notes. But whenever I got a whiff. I could not stop thinking "I am not a posh tennis court. I am a walking hamburger". I got a good laugh out of it while doing my shopping, but this one just didn't work for me. Everyone's body chemistry is different though, so I'd say give it a shot if you're interested.
30th November, 2019

Sundrunk by Imaginary Authors

Sundrunk is fun and pleasant. I definitely get the "orange soda" accord that they were going for. Certainly has sweet orange zest, but there's also little bite to it that almost resembles the carbonation. Right out of the gate the rhubarb sticks out as a little strange, but it settles so quickly into the mix that it's barely discernible within a minute or two. Definitely worth checking out. Doesn't have exceptional performance, but what summer-y scents do?
29th November, 2019

Géranium pour Monsieur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Fresh mint, sharp aromatic geranium, and sticky herbal anise. Others have said it comes together as Citronella and I totally get that, at least for the opening. That first hour is hefty, not really like anything I've tried before.

It's also a bit of flash in the pan. After that first hour or so the citronella smell subdues and you get mostly the mint left behind, which sticks much closer to the skin. At my first sample it felt a bit too mature for me, but it's grown on me. It's definitely a sophisticated fragrance. I think if the whole of the fragrance somehow bridged the gap between that hefty opening and the soft drydown, it would be a lot more enjoyable.
24th November, 2019 (last edited: 06th December, 2019)

Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Musc Ravageur is interesting, but it's not a fave for right now. I like the musky gourmand vanilla and tonka, but I was surprised by how much clove there is. It dirties things up a bit at the beginning and IMO it doesn't mesh as well with the rest of the scent as I'd like it to. I have enjoyed other fragrances with clove before, Serge Lutens Arabie comes to mind. However the difference I would say is that Arabie is already a sticky, spicy explosion even without the clove, whereas the background of MR is much more delicate, and easier tipped off balance by it. Does calm down into something much more wearable within an hour, but it also only lasted a few hours this time. Will definitely want to give it a second wearing.
23rd November, 2019

Jasmin 17 by Le Labo

I'm slowly beginning to understand white florals. At the outset, I couldn't tell a tuberose from a neroli from a jasmine. When I tried Moonlight in Heaven by Kilian I was wondering how they made such a milky, rice-pudding smell. Now I realize how milky Jasmine can be, especially with a hint of vanilla. There's a bit of greenness and citrus here too. Strangely, when you combine that all together the overall effect is a bowl of fruit loops for some reason?

Overall the scent is fairly pleasant. Not too challenging but also not something I'm super into. Also a bit too feminine for me, so I'm going with neutral on this one, but this is something I'd be happy to smell on my girlfriend.
20th November, 2019 (last edited: 25th January, 2020)