Perfume Reviews

Reviews by DuNezDeBuzier


Bull's Blood by Imaginary Authors

Dios mio, such histrionics with this one! That's OK though, such perceptions act like a beacon-call to those who appreciate the yin yang of a good animalic.

Unique and undoubtedly sitting out there on the fringe, Bull's Blood provides an interesting smell of a dry, dusty, deep floral alongside a musky patchouli mix wrought with enough skatoles and/or other indoles to make the uninitiated cry for mommy. Seriously... for those who have ever 'scrubbed off' a fragrance, do yourselves a favor and just pass this one up.

What provides the attraction? Rose? Spanish rose? Sure, why not.

What provides the repulsion? Costus root? Black Musk? Tobacco? Patchouli? Actual blood from a bull? Don't know, but costus root essential oil purportedly has a wet dog, animal fur smell to it and it does seem to be rarely used in modern perfumery. Works for me.

Overall these actors push/pull to a pleasant, slightly metallic effect. It's a serious scent. Clowns would not smell of it, nor would a guy in cargo shorts and a tee. Spray just enough for yourself and those you want in your personal bubble, else others may think it rude, take offense, and push for more laws.

If a lady were to wear Bull's Blood, I'd imagine the dark eyes and dark hair of an Angelina Jolie type character in, let's say, Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

As for gents: Soon after Michael Corleone is hit by 'The Thunderbolt' he calmly and persuasively clears up any misunderstandings with his future father-in-law. He had to be serious, he had to set the tone, he had to take the bull by the horns if he were stand even the slightest chance with Apollonia. He smelled of Bull's Blood, or at least I thought I glimpsed as much in the credits.

If you don't get that last reference, you're too young and probably should take a pass. If you use cologne as a compliment lure you should take a pass as well. Hell, I'll go so far as to say that unless you know what you like and you like animalic compositions like Mazzolari Lui, Laura Tonatto's Re (unavailable now, I believe), Muscs Koubai Khan, Untitled #8, etc., you'll likely not find what you're looking for in Bull's Blood. It's eclectic.

Thanks for this one Josh! The Imaginary Authors backstory is witty and matches the scent well. Speaking as a guy with hundreds of bottles in collection, I really wish more houses would push the envelope. It would do well to keep my interest.
28th September, 2015 (last edited: 06th October, 2015)

Montecristo by Masque

Edgy. The open is an assault on the senses ('nuf ced) soon enough settling upon the backbone structure of a cumin-esque spiciness with a touch of cinnamon. A sense of slightly sweet rum, tobacco, dusty animalics and other musky things round it out and provide a masculine appeal. It's neither heavy and syrupy nor is there a flower in sight. Montecristo keeps on giving for a good 12+hours off 6 sprays to the sternum in a rather linear manner.

I'm 50+ for reference. Paid close to $2.50/ml on a BN split. Fin 3/28/15
28th March, 2015

Black Aoud by Montale

Dominant rose atop 'westernized' oud, i.e. synthetic medicinal. N-u-c-u-l-a-r strength. Projects for light-years. Lasts for eons.

As with many others, dialing in on the proper dose for this one makes all the difference. Half spray around the navel works for me. I'm not into big florals yet I've got a softspot for rose. The thing is, I don't want to smell like rose to others, rather I want to be distracted from time to time throughout the wearing with a hint or notion that there just might be a vase-full in the vicinity. A little bit of Black Aoud does it well and for a long long time. Too much and it's a no-go however. There are things worse than gassing out a room by smelling of a ton of roses, but still.
23rd March, 2015
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Cowboy Grass by D.S. & Durga

Vetiver. Grassy vetiver that manages to spark, fizzle and buzz. From someone that considers Guerlain Vetiver 'the standard', Cowboy Grass leaves me thinking of an incomplete synthetic-feel component piece meant for something more complex and versatile.

Perceptions taken off a sample. Online, a 50ml bottle costs > $100. I'm 50+, for reference.
13th February, 2015

Jeke by Slumberhouse

One of my favorites from Slumberhouse. Linear, strong, a little smokey/meaty/leather, a little hay/honey, a bunch of spice and black tea. My mind's eye sees something like a 5 O'Clock Gingembre or a Tea for Two reduced to a much more concentrated juice, losing some ginger, and voila, Jeke!

I'm 50+, for reference, and have the square bottle shown above. Two sprays to the sternum.
08th February, 2015

Polo by Ralph Lauren

Pine, patchouli and other stuff on a monumental and iconic scale. Universally over-applied throughout the 80s, Polo is simply too good to hold THAT against the scent. Polo epitomizes the term masculine and it's still around for good reason.
03rd February, 2015

Bigarade Concentrée by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Edgy orange. Up close, it's a little rubbery on the open and into the heart. I enjoyed the sample but Declaration is still my go-to for this type scent and is a much better value. No need to overthink this one.
31st January, 2015

Perry Ellis for Men (original) by Perry Ellis

I am a fool for BelAmi and Davidoff. After reading references to those two and seeing Perry Ellis for Men positioned smack dab in between those two on the Haarimann & Reimer masculine fragrances geneology chart, I just had to pursue it.

First off, know what you have. I obtained a mini Perry Ellis - Eau de Toilette with Parlux Fragrances printed on the underneath bottom label. Squat, with a black top, it is likely the mini to the version pictured above. I believe this is a fresh fougere fragrance, much in the same grouping as the more recent version of Burberry for Men. A nice enough scent but definitely not befitting association with the two mentioned above.

I then obtained bottles similar to the one pictured above yet with a white-cap topping, 'Cologne for Men' instead of the 'Eau de Toilette' as printed, and Parfums Stern on the underneath bottom label. THIS is the big honkin' leathery mossy chypre I was looking for. Green to spicy carnation/rose to leather/moss. Excellent performance and worth the chase if you're into old school masculine chypres. Worthy of being discussed alongside BelAmi, Davidoff and others in that group as well.

I'm 52, for reference. Fin 10/28/14.
28th October, 2014

R by Révillon

R de Revillon (“R”)

What a fresh, clean splash when you're not quite in the mood for an Eau de or Aqua di Event! I bought this blind at the suggestion of mr. ericrico’s enthusiastic comments and glad I did.

Splash a cupped handful all over yourself. A little dry chalky melon, a little marine, then a little clean musk and a little wood is what you’ll get and it lasts plenty long for something with the feel of an edc. Understated, yet a quiet masculine done right and priced right. If you expect to be blown away… move on to the next one.

I'm 52, for reference. Wear it in the summer. Impossible to over-apply. Very economical – like others, I got a big bottle for around $2.25/oz. Perhaps THE perfect Father’s Day gift. Fin 8/26/14.
26th August, 2014

Vanitas by Profumum

I was silly and mixed this one up with Victrix (spicy & green) on a split. I was bummed when it came. I don't care for many vanillas and with its hyper sweet candy floss vanilla this is one of those. I gave it to my favorite lady and she digs it. It's such a thumper that I've had to ask her to dial it back a little... more than once.

So, red + green = yellow.
25th August, 2014

Patchouli Intense / Patchouli Homme by Nicolaï

Oh no. I drew from a 1.7 bottle and a separate sample. There is very little patchouli coming up to offset the sour, vinegary, pickle jus, celery salt, herbal note that dominates its backbone throughout. And I'm a fervent fan of Yatagan, go figure.
06th August, 2014

Royall Muske by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

Royall Lyme of Bermuda - Royall Muske.

A barbershop.

Barbershops are good, m'kay. They're like the polar opposite of the DMV, and that's a good thing. So relax and enjoy. Muske has the feel of an edc/after shave. I group it along with Old Spice, Brut, and the other splashes that are good for around 4 hours. Don't know if it's even possible to overapply and I don't hesitate applying to the ears, neck, hair, etc. It's nice and masculine. I beleve Royall markets their product as 'all purpose lotions' and that sounds about right with Muske. I would not group or compare it with the likes of Kiehls, Jovan, or even the lighter Annick Goutal - Musc Nomade or the L'Artisan - Mure et Musc. Not the same heft, feel, or complexity. Great for those early morning gym visits before showering.

I'm 51y.o. for reference and acquired my bottle for under $5/oz.

Fin 2/24/14
24th February, 2014

JHL by Aramis

Aramis JHL.

I've tried and tried both current (Gentlemen’s Collection) and vintage. I'm old school and really enjoy Equipage, Chaps (original), and some of the other scents reviewers mention here. Now those I’d call masculine. Similarities may exist, but JHL just goes too far. The ‘dated’ and ‘old lady’ descriptors are apt, regardless if they offend, and it’s too fem for me, too. Describing JHL as masculine likely confuses and misleads the average Joe.

Many do call JHL among their finest, however, so test it yourself. Just know what to expect: A cinnamon, patchouli, aldehyde, amber capable of becoming a monstrosity if over-sprayed. ‘Foom-Bah’ was coined with scents like this in mind. Like shoulder pads in leather jackets, some things were left in the 80s for good reason. Honestly, I’d not want to smell this on a lady either, not with so many superior smells out there.

I'm 51, for reference.

Fin 2/22/14.
22nd February, 2014 (last edited: 23rd February, 2014)
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L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

L'Air du Desert Marocain (“LdDM”)


LdDM is by no means a light scent, but its predominant amber comes off as lightly done, non-syrupy. A dry cedar accord plays a distant second fiddle and subtle kitchen spices help out as well. There’s also a low-key tar note which is perhaps responsible for the smoke, leather, and/or petrol some may notice, but this is far from overbearing. I consider it non-floral. Altogether LdDM can come off heavy, most certainly so if over-sprayed.

LdDM’s not a strong scent but it’s no slouch. If you're not into dusty, dry, orientals it can easily be too much. 3-4 sprays and it’ll last forever, settling in as a skin scent after 8-10 hours. I like LdDM most in cold weather under, around, and about thick clothing. It sits on my shelf alongside the likes of Heritage edp, Elsha 1776, L’Homme Sage, Nemo, Etra, Bulgari Black, and the current Or Black, all of which share various aspects including weight and feel, in a general sense.

On top of all this, it's kind of groovy when the artistic efforts re name and scent match up so well. That’s right, groovy.

Not for everyday wear but one of my favorites for intimate settings. A scent worth the price and I'd love smelling this on a lady.

I'm 51, for reference and I’m talking about the 50ml blue star bottle here.

Fin 2/22/14.
22nd February, 2014

Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

Boucheron Jaïpur Homme edp.

Quite the vanilla++ powdery oriental. Heliotrope in spades. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and the other notes support the vanilla rendering it quite a comfort and not a bit annoying, as it so often goes off and does with other vanilla-centric mixes. Jaïpur sits alongside my bottles of Opium pH edp, Envy, Heritage, and Carven Homme to give an idea of what I consider similar scents relative to weight, feel, and/or simply its general vibe. Jaïpur has above average longevity/sillage and can be cloying, so watch it. A couple sprays to the chest does me well unless I'm off to one of dem black tie affairs; then a couple to the neck or other exposed skin works just fine. Like many orientals, this is such a good comfort scent. I enjoy it mostly in the dry, deep winter months and it does a wonderful job of reminding me of my once-a-year jug of Oberweis egg nog... so rich, creamy, smooth, and yet not to be overdone. All serious hobbyists should get a nose on Jaipur. Perfect on a lady as well.

I'm 51, for reference. A few years back, my 50ml bottle cost around $35/oz.

Fin 2/11/14
12th February, 2014

Kinski by Escentric Molecules

Escentric Molecules - Kinski

Musty, dusty, vetiver prominent. Iso E and/or its ilk are noticeably present.

I applied the whole .7ml sample yesterday under clothes and exposed on the arms. As much as I can, I try to sample test before revisiting detailed reviews in an attempt to keep my impressions as personal and unbiased as possible. The source of my sample markets it as “Kinski by Kinski” and I had no idea it was an Escentric Molecule association until minutes ago. It fits.

Kinski belongs in the group of New Age Masculines typified by the synthetics that provide for crazy longevity (e.g. TdH, Encre Noir, Aventus, TF Extreme, etc.). MaryJane? Animalic/Castoreum? Hmmm, not so much to me. The recurring vibe I got throughout was that it was quite close to the smokey,vetiver, Iso E Super-laden Encre Noir. Now I happen to like EN a lot and TdH, another IES thumper, is one of my favorites. Those that are familiar enough with IES (and/or similar synthetics, to be honest) will understand when I say that Kinski, like the others, carries the characteristic of wearing the wearer; cold, not cloying yet somehow can become a little suffocating. D’ya know what I mean?

Good masculine scent. Pricey; my EN cost but a fraction. Don’t believe I’ll ever own a bottle. I'm 50, for reference and this impression is only off a single wearing of a .7ml sample. Fin12/29/12
29th December, 2012

Basala / Basara by Shiseido

I’ve some Sandalwood Vanuatu purchased from Eden Botanicals. It is creamy. It is good.

Basala races towards this smell. Sure, there is a supporting cast of spice and citrus but don’t blink because they leave the stage quickly. This one is all about sandalwood. Good sandalwood, at that.

I'm 50, for reference. This one is currently hard to find, hard to get: my .5oz bottle was had for $40/oz. Fin 9/25/12
25th September, 2012

1776 Russian Leather by Elsha

Ambery / Leather prominent.

As aptly noted in another review… in a word, SUAVE. I give it 5 stars and will always have this one.

Rather than the Knize 10 associations which I find to be an enjoyable petrol blast, I find this one looking in the direction of Le Labo’s Patchouli 24 in terms of a smokey meat quality. In 1776 that note is subtle, smooth, but faint compared to the Le Labo.

I'm 50, for reference. Wear it when you like. It is not overbearing but by no means a slouch. I find the scent plume coming up during the next morning’s shower with this one rather telling of its longevity and worth noting. Very economical – Recent upcoming Father’s Day special from the site has it available for around $4/oz, sans delivery. Fin 6/2/12
02nd June, 2012

4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser by 4711

Fleeting lemon/lime/citrus. It is what it is and nothing more. As long as I'm into fragrance, I'll have a bottle of this around somewhere.

Respectfully disregarding the storied past of eau de cologne and not caring one way or another to whom the crown of authenticity be hoisted… THIS one is my standard Eau. Why? 1) It was around in many of the barbershops and country club locker rooms through the years, alongside the Clubman and Vitalis, etc. and there's a nostalgic scent-a-mental thing going for me; 2) It is so damn economical; and 3) it always sings the same tune.

I'm 50, for reference. Wear it in the heat of Summer. It is not strong. Apply as often as you want. You might get an hour or two longevity. Definitely keep a spritz bottle in the fridge for those really hot days and a spritz bottle in the loo for the obvious. Very economical – My 27.1oz bottle was had for $1.50/oz. Fin 5/24/12
24th May, 2012

Royall Vetiver by Royall Lyme of Bermuda

Other than a thumbs-up, I don’t have much to add to what’s been written. I get a linear vetiver with citrus on the open. As mentioned, this one is quite similar to Guerlain's. Naturally, those of us considering Guerlain as THE standard should like this one as well (my reference is the ribbed bottle); without the tobacco, though.

I'm 50, for reference. I don’t see why this one cannot be worn anytime, formal/informal, etc. Very economical – I scored an 8oz bottle on ebay for $2/oz, it retails for a little more. Fin 5/22/12
22nd May, 2012

Agua Brava by Antonio Puig

I get a rather linear herbal (think oregano), mossy, dry non-sappy and non-sweet pine. Devoid of any sweetness. I get little, if any, citrus. Would not be suprising if this was seen as mostly unpopular with the younger crowd; I'm 50, for reference. This is a man's manly fragrance. Doubt it'd work at all for romantic date night. OK for office, but best suited for casual, particulary outside casual. Associations with soup and Pino Sivestre are apt. My bottle cost around $6/oz. Fin 4/16/12
16th April, 2012