Perfume Reviews

Reviews by autumngleeman

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Total Reviews: 46

X for Men by Clive Christian

cinnamon, amber, and oakmoss are the prevailing notes. The cinnamon is especially strong in the drydown. I enjoyed this scent a lot.
07th September, 2012

Juniper Sling by Penhaligon's

I like Juniper Sling a lot. When I first applied my sample, I was met with the aromatic and very dry beefeater-like gin and tonic quality that others have remarked about. That persisted for maybe an hour. Later, (while I was on the metro rail) I noticed something sweet in the air. Since a lady had just sat next to me, I first assumed it was her. But when I concentrated on the application to my arm, I realized it was me. I looked up the notes on my cell phone and sure enough, I saw that Juniper Sling had black cherry and brown sugar notes. I must say, I like this part a lot, possibly even more than the bright gin opening, which I also liked very much. It transformed into a spicy, sweet and slightly leathery drydown. From start to finish Juniper Sling projects a classic pre-prohibition era cocktail quality to it (which was the explicit theme for this perfume's creation). I actually didn't have a problem with longevity (without holding my nose to my arm I caught a smell of it here and there on me as long as 7 hours after application) so much as I had a problem with projection. The projection with the sample was indeed well below average and left me dissatisfied.

Despite this problem I bought a full bottle, largely on the merit of the cherry and gin cocktail heart and drydown (although like I said I enjoyed the brisk opening as well). I think the complaints below about longevity and projection are possibly a result of only using small samples. I won't deny that I apply Juniper Sling HEAVILY when I choose to wear it, but I manage to get a reasonable amount of projection afterwards, as much as the average millesime Creed at least. So perhaps bear this in mind if this issue has left you undecided about getting a full bottle.
17th April, 2012

English Fern by Penhaligon's

Many of the reviews below already describe English Fern accurately and completely, and since I don't feel inclined to repeat what has been said so well already, I will not be adding anything. In particular, Cello's analysis just a few comments below can speak for me. I can't think of a more genre-defining (fougere) scent than this one. It is the gold standard for all fougeres as far as I'm concerned.
17th April, 2012
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Beachwood by Costamor

This perfume was a challenge to wrap my head around. The opening smelled exactly like bazooka joe bubblegum, which was unusual but not unpleasant. That disappeared after 15 minutes and was replaced by a coconut and woods middle with a pervasive marine note behind everything. I found this quality to be very nice. With a little effort I can also smell the Jasmine, although for the most part this note gets absorbed into the coconut accord. This is very good stuff but I think it's just a little too much on the feminine side for me.
14th April, 2012 (last edited: 16th April, 2012)

Escale à Pondichéry by Christian Dior

To repeat and confirm what other reviews have said, this perfume is a very interesting combination of bitter citrus and tea. The floral/sandalwood drydown is heavenly. Excellent evening warm weather scent. Unisex potential.
14th April, 2012

Aqua Allegoria Mentafollia by Guerlain

It's very very green. Apart from the mint green leaves and the grapefruit notes I can't smell the rose and tea that is supposed to be in this! It smells very fresh but apart from that I don't really have much more to say about it. This perfume is simple but effective. And it's possibly unisex too but I'm still debating this with myself.
12th April, 2012

Un Jardin Après La Mousson by Hermès

This is a nice summer option for those who like the smell of ginger and pepper. I don't know what it is about pepper, but every time I have smelled a strong pepper fragrance I also get a vague watery feeling. It also smells vaguely like green melon, although it really is a ginger note and not melon, contrary to what everyone is saying below. The best thing this has going for it is that, although it's a fresh and slightly watery summer fragrance, it doesn't smell like the commonplace generic fresh summer offerings that are available everywhere. I credit the pepper notes for that.
12th April, 2012

Knize Two by Knize

Knize two is an utter soap bomb disaster. I'm blaming the woods and musk in concert with the symphony of florals for this. But something in the base is definitely reacting wrong with all of the florals to make it a dry bar of soap. It's all just a little too much for me.
12th April, 2012

La Rose Légère by Les Parfums de Rosine

It's really garden fresh. Strawberry, violet and rose are the most prominent notes, with lily as a secondary note. It's simple and fresh and naturally sweet. And there is no gender confusion with this rosine, it's feminine all the way.
14th March, 2012

Honour Man by Amouage

A lot of pink and black pepper, incense, musk, nutmeg and cedar. That's about all I can smell, but the result is something that smells unique to me. Everything is soft and smooth. It feels as if a very subtle hand crafted it. The incense especially; it's unlike most of the darker and harsher incense of other niche houses, it has a very smooth and light texture. In a strange way, sometimes Honour man vaguely smells like skin after getting out of a pool with chlorine. But it smells good anyway, like a lighter, peppery, smoky version of that, if you can believe it. I like the drydown too: I like how Honour manages to stay soft and subtle yet pervasive with what I can only describe as a glowing and luminous sillage/projection, like moonlight, dim but then again more than sufficient to light up everything for vision. Anyway, I just bought a bottle. It occurred to me that this would be a terrific October-November fragrance yet at the same time also eminently wearable for wet spring and summer days (smelling this with the smell of rain on warm pavement? Win!). Honour Man is another Amouage success if you ask me.
14th March, 2012

Cool Water Frozen by Davidoff

I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between this and my brother's cool water if my life depended on it. Nice marketing and packaging but I feel a little manipulated and very dissatisfied with my purchase. I was hoping for cool water with a twist but instead I was given just cool water basically. MAYBE the citrus is a little stronger, but that might just be my imagination. Thumbs down for not being any different from the original.
10th March, 2012 (last edited: 19th April, 2012)

Diabolo Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine

Diabolo rose is extremely fresh. I agree with the note desciptions below, and it is a pretty simple and straightforward composition, so i won't have more to say about it by way of note analysis. I have found that many of rosine's scents are male appropriate despite the feminine classifications, so it would behoove a rose loving guy to try them out. In this case though, dabolo feels decidedly feminine. On paper it looks like it might work as a unisex, but the reality is that the individual components seem to stack sweet on top of sweet just a little too much for a man to wear without something acting against the sweetness as a counter-balance and contrast.
10th March, 2012

Secrets de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine

I like secrets de rose. It's a well executed dark rose, a bitter black petaled rose. This is a great option for guys who might be searching for a dark rose scent but without aoud, which is the most popular method of executing a dark rose scent (at least in men's perfume).
10th March, 2012
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Un Zeste de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine

I'm just here to add (for any guy reading this) that I truly believe that Un Zeste de Rose is unisex and very easy for a non-effeminate guy to wear. I had to get the word out. Which is good news because really unique and great smelling summer time fragrances for guys are hard to find (in my experience). Une Zeste de Rose has lasting, persistent citrus and equally persistent rose complimented with light tea. Guys, have you ever heard of such a thing in the men's aisle? No, of course not, and this one really works in spades. Even better, the sillage is great and the longevity is incredible. My generous morning application routinely lasts until dinner late that afternoon. It's utterly unique, refreshing and lasts and lasts. What more can you ask of a summery citrus thing such as this? This one went straight into my spring/summer rotation next to Eau Suavage, Selection Verte, Chevrefeuille, Christian Dior Granville, etc. and I see it staying there for a long time.
07th March, 2012

Rose d'Eté by Les Parfums de Rosine

I'm going to give a thumbs up for this one. I have been reviewing a lot of the rosine fragrances recently (on the advice that many of them might actually be wearable for men, which has turned out to be true) and this is without a doubt a female only scent. I like the ripe crab apple flesh and rose combination. I also like the effervescent nature of it, as if aldehydes were used in the composition (which it appears it doesn't have). It's fresh and it sparkles. I can certainly see how it could turn some people off (it emits strong sillage and you should probably have a love for white florals, which it really doesn't have but it smells somewhat similar to that type of thing) but I imagine I would find Rose D'ete very agreeable on a woman. My only concern is the projection strength, so my advice to would-be wearers would be to apply moderately.
07th March, 2012

Glam Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine

oddly enough, it bears a strong resemblance to CDG guerrilla 2, a rose version of it and minus its dried blood note (see my review, or rather, my strident rant on that frag for details). I'd have to say I think this is pleasant, but on the other hand, CDG guerrilla 2 traumatized me to such an extent that I can't completely enjoy Glam Rose for what it is anymore. I can say that the raspberry and wood base is appealing and the rose (as always with Rosine) is of high quality. the berry is strong. you will notice that CDG guerrilla 2 has a prominent raspberry note too; but in that frag, something blends with it and it goes horribly, horribly, wrong, creating the dried blood smell. To summarize Glam Rose, this is a rose/violet/black currant fragrance with a strong raspberry presence and a subtle cedar base. I give it a thumbs up.
07th March, 2012

Une Folie de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine

It resembles Lady Vengeance, but just a little darker (the oakmoss and vetiver). This really should be classified as a unisex. The men's selections from Rosine are their very worst ones, but don't despair, some of these "feminine" Rosine frags can work for us guys. Case in point.
04th March, 2012

Bulgari pour Homme by Bulgari

To the man who described Bulgari PH below as comet cleaner, I agree. to another reviewer from below who described this as musty and metallic, I agree with you too. I'll throw in wet and decomposing vegetation. It's the tea note; the tea note is too bitter and flat. It might be fairly accurate, but it doesn't require very much imagination to smell the awful things that I just described through it. It's not supported with anything to move the imagery away from these things. And even granting the accuracy of the tea note, who wants to smell like an accurate (and therefore very flat and almost metallic smelling) earl grey? A lot of people from the look of it but quite frankly, I'm rather surprised by all of the compliments for this frag. The tea needs some contrast; a little bit of a honey accord or something would have gone a long way. The drydown is more mellow and pleasant, but all that you will find is really happening at that point is that it amplifies less. Like the bathtub you cleaned with comet AFTER you wash it out with a run of water. just faint comet tones.
03rd March, 2012 (last edited: 04th March, 2012)

Lady Vengeance by Juliette Has a Gun

This is so beautiful...I could eat this rose (a rose gourmand lol)! To borrow adjectives from everyone below, the rose is so rich, warm, full and bright...it's hard to communicate, but it's such a warm and over-ripe rose that it actually gives off a texture; I can almost feel it if that makes any sense; it feels like a plush satin pillow! Incredible. Anyway, I'm a guy (who isn't shy about wearing florals or sweet scents) but this might be one for the girlfriend instead. I'll have to think this over but I think this is just beyond my threshold for what I can carry and pull off. It's also a pretty simple composition: just that big rose and very slight patchouli really and some vanilla from what I understand, although I don't smell vanilla really, I can just feel its effect (the heightened sweetness). But the slight sweetness isn't artificial or saccharine at all. What a wonderful rose! (And the bottle is beautiful too).
27th February, 2012 (last edited: 28th February, 2012)

Twill Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine

The description of this as rose poivree minus the civet and with the substitution of cumin from below is dead-on. All i would like to add is that this small difference is not an improvement; and to make matters worse, the cumin is way too strong.
27th February, 2012

Memoir Man by Amouage

There is so much to like about Memoir man. The pipe tobacco base and soft leather is lovely. The florals and soft vanilla give Memoir Man a pleasant sweet contrast with the oakmoss and deep wood accords. The mint and basil put forward a wonderful green top. The absynth tone of the opening notes (that extends well into the heart of the fragrance) dovetails with the mint and basil and gives the composition a fresh and wet sensation. Memoir Man is very organic smelling to me; it's deep, damp and cool old-growth forest floor undergrowth in a bottle. You can go ahead and throw away your Bulgari Black if you get this because with Memoir Man you're not going to want to wear it anymore. It makes that frag and many others of the genre largely irrelevant and no longer justifiable in the same collection.
26th February, 2012

Fool for Love by Ego Facto

If you like sweet, this is your ticket. It smells strong of fruit punch, with coconut and florals in support. My girlfriend liked it and maybe we'll get it for her, but it's pricey so we'll have to think about it. I got the sample under the impression it was unisex: this simply wasn't the case. This is for girls/women only.
25th February, 2012

Not a Perfume by Juliette Has a Gun

I couldn't smell it so i used the whole sample. I still couldn't smell it. My girlfriend visited later in the afternoon and commented that i smelled like the smoky stuff they swing around in those globes connected to chain/rope in church ceremonies. she said it smelled strong. I'll have to take her word for it because I can't smell the Ambroxan myself. It just seems like such a novelty fragrance, not something to take seriously and spend money on.
24th February, 2012 (last edited: 14th March, 2012)

Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

As most of you are already aware of, Dzing! was intended to be evocative of the circus. I think it succeeds: you wouldn't really know it from the list of notes, but the overall composition succeeds (speaking for myself) in encouraging the imagination to entertain that fantasy. the caramel and tonka bean and ginger help combine to lend Dzing! the confection/candy smell, the woods combined with the sweeter notes can evoke sawdust, the soft leather provides a nice base, and there is a little musk/civet in the composition too, dirtying everything up. I read some of the reviews below and I can definitely see how the notes could bring other things to mind e.g. libraries, old paper, fecal matter, cardboard and what not. As I mentioned, the nature of the composition is highly evocative. Anyway, it is high on my list of greatest perfumes ever. Longevity is ok, but I just overspray a bit to get the duration I desire; the sillage never overwhelms even with excessive spraying. Also, moisturizer on the skin really helps it too, if you need the help. All in all, a wonderful experience off the beaten path of the conventional perfume experience that no serious perfume enthusiast should miss.
24th February, 2012

Opus V by Amouage

Strong agarwood oud with equally strong floral and rum notes. I like it, but i would say it is much more inclined towards a woman. It's not just the number of sweet notes, it's the nature of the sweetness really: It's woman sweet. But whatever, scents are not made just for men, my lady would smell great with this on, thumbs up.
23rd February, 2012

parfums*PARFUMS Guerrilla 2 by Comme des Garçons

Oh...my...God. Sangre de Christo. I can see the tabasco vibe as described below...I THINK THOUGH that the drydown has a very strong COPPERY smell just like dried blood. I know this smell very well; it was something I smelled all of the time in the air at the boxing gym I used to attend growing up as a kid. This is SWEETENED dried blood to be precise. I think Opus IV by Amouage is this scent executed without this intolerable insufferable quality. Check that one out, I think you'll see what I mean. Really...honestly...this is for vampires only. Those people who you see on history channel specials who don't go out during the day and have a blood fetish and like to drink it. As far as me and Guerrilla 2 go, I will not make friends with it; I cannot get this off my skin fast enough.
23rd February, 2012

Opus IV by Amouage

What's this, I'm first to review?!? I would have guessed this was a Comme de Garcons creation had i tried this blind. The opening is a complex medley. I smell the rose and the labdanum and the berries. The citrus is also evident in the opening. But by the time you reach the thirty minute mark, all of what I just listed becomes one singular inseperable sweet note, BEHIND the very spicy incense and musk. It is basically these four components: peppery spice, incense, musk (i guess civet) and the sweet note that is basically the residue, the combination of the previous floral/fruit/citrus notes prior to this drydown. I actually think it smells nice and bracing, almost like spicy incense in cool air. I would also like to say that this is certainly better than the previous three opus fragrances in the library collection. It's not quite my style, but I like it. It should renew interest in the library collection I should think, at the very least.
23rd February, 2012

Granville by Christian Dior

the opening is a very pleasant aromatic blast of cool citruses (especially lemon) and thyme. As this part fades, the pine and herbs grow in prominence and eventually dominate the scent. There is a menthol quality to the middle portion and drydown; it feels like a menthylated and natural smelling lemon with pine. Imagine this mixed with soft pine and herbs (rosemary and thyme) with a VERY slight woods and oakmoss base and you have the complete idea of Granville. Every note smells of high quality and I would think Creed fans would like it especially (had I not been told, I would have guessed the first sample I tried was a new Creed). To be precise, I would say it bares a resemblence to the Creed aesthetic somewhat. Anyway, I bought a bottle immediately and I am very happy. This is a wonderful and light spring/early summer pine scent. Longevity and sillage are pretty good. I would say it strikes me as a straight unisex.
20th February, 2012 (last edited: 29th February, 2012)

Opus I by Amouage

I reallly like and respect Amouage. I rush to try all of their fragrances just as soon as I learn about them; to me, they are one of the most original, creative, and exciting houses around. Although you pay a premium, they always use the finest top shelf essential oils. When they succeed, they are superb. On a personal level, I like their sensibility and their aesthetic. I enjoy the fact that they see sweeter notes as perfectly natural for a guy to carry (provided that it's well executed); as a consequence they often explore unusual notes, or they use notes in ways that other houses simply wouldn't consider. They really go for it each time and I can't think of a better house when it comes to daring boldness. Only Comme de Garcons really strikes me in the same way.

This one was certainly a reach, a real leap of imagination. I believe Opus I is a unisex. I really don't think I have smelled a perfume like this one (at least from the perspective of male/unisex perfumes) so I have to hand it to them, it's truly different. It's kind of hard to isolate individual notes (especially the floral ones) because there is just so much; Opus I is extremely complex. It's a cornucopia of white flowers, i.e. lily, tuberose, jasmine, and ylang-ylang. Aside from that, the cardamom is strong and the plum contributes to the unusual character. There are many other notes according to the pyramid but it's kind of a wash after that; my nose is straining to deconstruct Opus I at this point. I think the base is kind of flat personally (this is where it fails), and it's exactly what I would change if I had to improve Opus I. It should amplify more, because all I smell is a real weak incense note (and maybe just a little wood) holding everything together. I would have liked the alleged vetiver or cedar to have a greater presence for the sake of a little more balance and proportion. As it stands, the top and middle notes just carry on and on without interruption and a deeper drydown never really materializes. I read one person's review somewhere on a different site describe Opus I as key lime pie-ish. I can see that. I read another review describe it as a kitty litter box. I can kind of see that a little too (a fresh one, sorry Amouage), but I also think that's a bit harsh and inaccurate. If I had to summarize the smell of Opus I for someone in this manner, I think I would describe it as an extremely aromatic lily-tapioca. Or even better, sweet milk-rice (rice pudding i think it's called, or something like that). Anyway, I will not be buying it for personal use (or anyone else really). But if a woman I cared for wore this, I think I could come around and warm up to it. So on this point I award it a neutral rating.
17th February, 2012

Stella Rose Absolute by Stella McCartney

Wonderful deep and dark rose soliflore. I actually consider this to be a more masculine appropriate version of Stella EDP, which is also fabulous. Far more rose and just a hint of amber after the slight citrus opening. More or less just the same deep and mysterious rose of Stella EDP. If you are a guy, this is the stella mccartney rose most appropriate for a guy. On a woman this would be sexy and beguiling, like a femme fatale.
16th February, 2012