Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Apicius

Total Reviews: 45

Antaeus by Chanel

"The Grey Governess"

Antaeus is a great fragrance beyond question. But I am quite shocked when I apply it. I do not know any other perfume that gives off such an aura of rigour and strictness.

I feel that Antaeus is space-consuming and sophisticated. Always in a bad mood, it is driven by the need to spoil any feeling of Laissez-faire or even the slightest smile. At any time it demands moderation and temperance, and strict fulfilment of one's duties – like a governess in a high-necked, mouse grey outfit.

Its depth of francincense transforms whoever wears it into an inhabitant of fathomless urban canyons. With its tristesse, it suits Keanu Reeves in the movie “Matrix” or any other version of the Brave New World. A great perfume that unfortunately sends out strong negative energies.
06th January, 2012

Amber & Spices by Montale

I do not know what an amber and spice perfume is supposed to smell like. But this scent is a remarkably change from the usual rose/aoud combos that Montale offers.

Despite its name, it is definately a heavy aoud fragrance. It has a somewhat "industrial" quality, smelling a lot like rubber and tar, or maybe burning brown coal. With only a slight hint of rose, this is a dry, masculine scent. The composition of different woods in it is excellent. It reminds me a bit of the topnote of Bulgari Black or maybe the long discontinued Anthracite.

It developes quite linear, which in this case is good. I can understand that many Montale fans might find it difficult to come to terms with this scent, but I like it. In my opinion, it can stand up against Black Aoud, the Montale reference aoud scent.
27th November, 2009

Louban by Montale

In one episode of Addams Family, Morticia Addams is given a bouquet of roses. She trims the roses by cutting off all blossoms, keeping only the beautiful stalks. This is what happened to the roses in Louban, so you get a very "green" rose/aoud scent.

I do not really understand the concept of this, but Montale does not stand alone. I found a similar rose stalk scent in Twill Rose by Parfumerie de Rosine.

I would recommend purchasing a sample, but only for curiosity.
27th November, 2009
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Sliver Aoud by Montale

Classic Fougère meets Oud.

Not bad at all. Of course, this is not to be compared with the typical Oud powerhouses by Montale (BA and others). On occasions I do not want to pester my environment with one of those, I sometimes choose Sliver Aoud. Rather inoffensive citruses and herbs, but still with hint of oud that adds considerable substance.
21st November, 2009

Idole de Lubin by Lubin

This perfume is a big cheater.

Great topnote that disappeares very quickly, leaving behind boring and ordinary heart and basenotes and lots of disappointment.
07th October, 2009

Essenza Del Tempo by Trussardi

Although not listed above, I remember hibiscus mentioned as ingredient in some Trussardi brochure about this perfume. The smell is not simply citrusy, but something similar. It reminds me of taste and smell of a cup of red hibiscus and mallow tea - very nice. I'd rather find it relaxing than refreshing or energizing. And it is something simple.

I do not smell some of the ingredients listed above, especially not any expressive components such as coffee or iris.

The perfume is unisex and very discreet, it could do as an office scent or any situation when one would not like to stand out for wearing an expressive scent.

06th October, 2009

Antico Caruso by Profumum

This is like a reduced version of Le Male by Gaultier.

It has the same benzoin smell, but not as strong as LM. No sticky sweetness. The almond/maybe vanilla it is rather dry, woody dry, probably due to the sandalwood. In opposite to LM, Antico Caruso is a discreet scent.

Longevity is short, compared to LM..

Remember the sailor in the Le Male advertisement? For an Antico Caruso ad, a distinguished elderly gentlemen would be more appropiate.

I rather take the sailor.
04th October, 2009

Géranium pour Monsieur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

According to an article from wikipedia, geranium oil is being distilled from a species of the pelargonium plant, and the scent can resemble different others, but rose should be the most widely used type. And so is Geranium pour Monsieur

The opening comes with a rose and mint note. The mint note is very dominant and definately not what you should expect from a floral perfume. I think, minty notes have their right to exist in perfumery, but the combination with rose is quite strange.

After half an hour the mint notes fades away, and the geranium or rose note comes out stronger. This is when the perfume becomes likeable. The rose/geranium note resembles the rose in perfumes like Touaregh (Il Profumo), Rose for Men (NeilMorris) or Black Tie (Washington Tremlett). It is not as peppery as the first, not as mellow as the second and not as dark as the latter. I have to admit it seems to be well balanced, does not go to any extremes and really stays in the middle.

One pro, one con makes a neutral rating.

06th September, 2009

Cedro Atlas: II Cola by Nobile 1942

Cola, the number 2 of this gift set, comes with a tiny black cord around the neck of the bottle, which indicates for me that this is the gateway drug!

I have no idea how this was done, but the scent really is similar to the taste of coke - with a slice of lemon in it. It is energizing, fun to wear and probably very attractive to wear for boys of different ages.

Longevity could be better IMO.
29th August, 2009

Cedro Atlas: III Robinson by Nobile 1942

Number three is a transparent ceder and vetiver scent, according to the accompanying leaflet ideal for the more romantic occasions in life. Since I really like ceder and vetiver combos like Kenzoair (intense), Terre d'Hermes or Mark Buxton's English Breakfast, this is no exception.

However, again longevity is quite poor, but maybe just right for perfume beginners.

I highly recommend this box as a gift for a young man: 3 high quality perfumes (no synthetics) for a still moderate price coming in an attactive box with a very informative leaflet about perfume basics.
29th August, 2009

Cedro Atlas: I Superhero by Nobile 1942

Nobile 1942, who usually make old peoples' perfumes, have become worried about their future customers an now offer an attractive gift box with 3 different cedar scents aimed specially at younger men.

Along with the 3 little perfume bottles, each one for another time of the day or occasion, it contains a very instructive leaflet about the art of making perfume.

Superhero is the one I like the least. It is a rather tacky combination with vanilla. I like vanilla ice cream, but not vanilla perfume.

Thumbs up for the overall concept, but not for this one.

29th August, 2009

Boss in Motion White Edition by Hugo Boss

I tested this today. What can I say?

Generally, I do not like synthetical designer scents, and this is another one, just as one should expect from this brand. The main ingredient that stands out seems to be a chemical musk. But is is quite bodily an attractive, it might even provide the wearer with a certain feeling of physical or sexual presence. Far from being something different, it seems to be just a magical hint better than many other similar scents.

Maybe after years of practise, at Boss, they might have developed some Know How in making attractive perfumes out of inexpensive ingredients.
29th August, 2009

Eau de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermès

I tested this today at a shop and instantly bought a bottle of it because I was pleased with the fruity, appetizing red ripe grapefruit note that seemed to make it a great summer scent. I did not detect any rose in it, and I think the naming "Pampelmousse rose" just refers to the fact that the top note is definately red, not yellow grapefruit. I do not know if there is a rhubarb note in it. I know the sour taste of cooked rhubarb, but I do not know how "rhubarb" is supposed to smell.

After a while, the red grapefruit note gets more zesty, so you have a slightly bitter grapefruit peel note.

Coming home, another change took place. The grapefruit vanished into the background and revealed a crispy, transparent, yet substantial cedar wood and vetiver base note. Not exactly a light version of Terre d'Hermes, rather reminiscent of Kenzoair (intense version). No other reviewer has mentioned that so far, but isn't there a little bit of powdery iris in it as well?

Although I could not wait buying it until the base note had developed, I am not dissapointed at all. I think I have an addiction to cedar - vetiver combos and this is not the first scent of this kind that I own. I will wear this a lot.

If you decide to test it, please be aware that this is one of the scents that will turn its character vice versa within three hours, so you might better wait a while before buying it. You will get two different fragrances for the price of one!

29th August, 2009
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Steam Aoud / Oud Hoggar Mota by Montale

The best perfumes are undescribable, and so is this one. All I want to say is that steem aoud for me is the no.1 from montale's oud line and one of my top 5 favorite scents. For the best attempt to describe this scent, just read the review of scensitivity below!
29th August, 2009

l'eau de parfum #1 (for you) / parfum trouvé by Miller et Bertaux

Very strange perfume.

For me, this is a little spicy, fruity, alcoholic, like raisins (maybe prunes?) in malaga wine. Reminds me a lot of the taste of malaga ice cream. Also, I detect a strange mellow note that reminds me of cooked chestnuts. Not at all powdery on my skin. I do not get any iris.

This gourmand style is balanced by some woody notes.

Probably a scent that you have to wear for a while before you start to like it. At the moment, I don't.
28th August, 2009

English Breakfast by Mark Buxton

This is an extremely interestant offfice scent!

The tumble of top and middle notes provide a fresh, non-citrusy, slightly floral, slightly chemical laundrette smell. Not one of the listed ingredients is distinguishable to my nose.

This will last during the morning. In the afternoon, just before the fragrance might become boring, it steps back and gives way to wafts of a dry, transparent cedarwood and vetiver note, reminiscent of Kenzoair (but without the Ouzo smell) or the new Cedro Atlas: III Robinson by Nobile 1942. I really like it. These wafts do not stick to your skin all the time. It is rather that you sense them every once in an while, just like an energy shot, very welcome in the late afternoon.

27th August, 2009

A Quiet Morning by Miller et Bertaux

I would describe this scent as woody-minty-spicy. With lots of woods (cedar and sandalwood)

Although mint is not listed; it is somehow a little astringent (menthol? eucalypthus?). I do not smell any flowers.

If you like woody perfumes, you might give it a try. I think it's OK but not a must have at least for me.

13th July, 2009

Private Collection - Querelle by Parfumerie Generale

No, the novel Querelle by Jean Genet is not about masochistic lust, homosexual rape, blackmail and murder as one reviewer has stated. It is about the aesthetical transition of these aspects into holiness!
It is known that Jean Genet once had been falsly accused of theft as a child. Based on this trauma, he identified himself with what his contemporaries would consider the evil. In his work, he tried to describe the beauty of this with almost religious addiction.

The perfume Querelle has captured exactly this attitude. Yes, it is masculine in a way that it could make one imagine a sweaty sailors body at work. But then, there is also something very "catholic", like clouds of burning incense, myrrh and other narcotizing secret ingredients
wafting through the temple of some esoteric cult, dedicated to transfer the worshippers into religous extasy (though, it is not a churchlike incense like in Messe de Minuit). This contradiction is definetely what makes this fragrance be a thrill.

I wonder what was first: the perfume that required an apropriate name or the concept of a perfume named Querelle?

23rd June, 2009

Vetiver Dance by Tauer

This vetiver starts just as any citrusy take on vetiver, but soon some woody notes emerge. There is a kind of bitter incensy note in all Tauer perfumes (which I do not like in particular) that also plays a part in here. So, it is definately Tauer.

The Lily of the valley stays in the background but attenuates the rather harsh and grassy vetiver note.

I am always curious about vetivers that contain other aspects such as floral notes as a counterpart. But I have to admit, this one does not impress me much.
14th June, 2009

Millesimé by Ronald Esper

I could not find a pyramid on the internet, so I rely on my own nose.

Millesimé is a citrus scent. Some citrus (lemon, maybe lime) is put together with berries, maybe blackcurrant which gives it a touch of candies. Below, there is something that seems to be a coffee note.

Although this melange sounds horrible it works! The berry note makes the citrus more interesting, and the coffee provides some substance. It is a bit along the line of Aqua di Parma scents, but coffee instead of coniferous notes makes a remarkable difference.

Longevity is not great but OK. Develops quite linear. I use it as an office scent.
13th June, 2009

Sienne L'Hiver by Eau d'Italie

I tested it without knowing the notes as given by odysseum, and I got a somewhat different impression on my skin.

The top notes instantly reminded me of homemade fruit in rum, then a more distinct note of dried plum, but without beeing sweet. The plum note during the drydown. Finally, a leathery note takes over.

It is neither overly sweet nor opulent, but definately gourmand. I do not know what provides this, but there is also something in it that has a cooling effect like menthol (but there is no menthol smell in it).

Definately nothing I would like to wear very often, but maybe occasionally. The only dried fruit gourmand scent I like so far.

05th June, 2009

Gendarme Green by Gendarme

A light herbal green scent with a twist towards classic cologne style fragrances like Guerlains' Eau Imperiale or Penhaligons' Castile (especially it the citrusy topnote) - but so much more up to date!

What I do not like about it is its is availablility in a rather ugly and impractical 6 oz.(!) aluminium bottle. I will probably have to pass it to my heirs.
05th June, 2009

Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

This fragrance is difficult to use. It can be overapplied very easily. The point is that the scent does not appear very strong to the person who wears it but to everyone else around. It must somehow anaesthetise the olfaction.

I think it was introduced obviously before the use of synthetics became common in the perfume industry, at least it gives me the impression that it is still all natural. Extremely good, especially considered that low price!

They offer a wide range of products in that line and for a more discreet scent, even the pre-shave is sufficient.
01st June, 2009

Aoud Lime by Montale

No, this is much over the top. Lime and oud are so far away from each other that it is probably not possible to bring them together. And this combination of sour and bitter lime with oud is really nauseating. Turns more bearable when the lime gets weaker during the drydown, but still very harsh and unpleasant.

For me, this is the worst of Montale's ouds together with Red Aoud. Strange to find adorable scents like Steam Aoud or BA next to this horrible stuff in the same line!
30th May, 2009

Chevalier d'Orsay by D'Orsay

Hmm. This was definately a beautiful scent when it was introduced and for years after. But I think nowadays there is obviously a cheap synthetic copy of this scent in certain germicides that are used in public lavatories. What a pity! I think it is not wearable any longer.
30th May, 2009

Flowers for Men - Rose by Neil Morris Fragrances

In a "flowers for men" perfume series, I would expect floral notes being opposed by some other notes rather than being accompanied by them. XPEC Original (tuberose against thyme and a dark ambratic base), Touregh (rose against nutmeg and pepper), Black Tie (rose against saffron) are very interestant examples for that style. However, Mr.Morris takes a different approach.

Here, the rose is embedded in a not too dark base of amber, musk, patchouly, sandalwood and oakmoss typical for Neil Morris fragrances. As the scent develops, the rose steps back even further. Though it is still there one would not necessarily identify it.

For me, this rose scent is very laid-back. Perfect for a lazy day off.
16th May, 2009

Salvatore Ferragamo pour Homme by Salvatore Ferragamo

I do not like fig scents, but I like vetivers. Here, the vetiver is perfectly balanced by the fig, resulting in a somewhat odd, but elegant and IMO quite unique fragrance. It is definetely not a clone of Guerlain's or any other straightforward vetiver. Instead, it is an attempt to reduce the harshness of genuine vetyver. Although the approach is different, I would put in in a row with Annick Goutals' Vetyver, Montales' Red Vetyver Terre d'Hermes and maybe Kenzoair. Very well done!
28th April, 2009

Frankfurt Kitchen by Social Creatures

My impression I get from this scent:

Imagine a Frankfurt kitchen (designed in 1926 for people with low income) in a 1926 bauhaus style building. A warm evening sun shines throught the window, illuminating a bakelite bowl on the kitchen table filled with apples, bananas, apricots and plums. You approach the kitchen table. You notice the scent of the overripe fruits as you rouse all the hidden fruit flies.

Try if you like dried fruit scents.
13th April, 2009

Fetish by Neil Morris Fragrances

I have tested more than half of the collection of Neil Morris Fragrances by now, but Fetish is by far the best and one of my top 5 favourite fragrances.

Actually, it is quite difficult to describe for me, maybe because the ingredients seem to blend together without having one distinctably standing out, or maybe just because of my lack of experience.

Fetish is extremely sweet, like marzipan, but there is also an earthiness/bitterness in it that I find particulary attractive. Especially with this effect I see a certain similarity to Dior Homme - only by style, not by ingredients.

It is definately too distinct for office wear. So, I would recommend it rather for weekend or spare time. If you consider testing Neil Morris fragrances, do not forget to give this a try!
22nd March, 2009

Xpec Trinity 2 by Xpec

Strange and somehow gourmand!

At first, I smell liquorice, maybe some fennel and ...funghi porcini! Then only porcini. Except for a hint of lavender, I do not smell any of the ingredients listed above, maybe beacause they are very well integrated so nothing stands out.

Well done, but I think you definately have to grow into this scent to find it wearable. Thumbs up for its originality!
25th February, 2009