Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Ekove

Total Reviews: 18

Encre Noire by Lalique

Concrete, Grass, Rain. Dark and clean...Absolutely sensual. Lovely Bottle and great price.

No vetiver comes close to this. If you want a fresher take on vetiver, go for TF Grey vetiver, than that, nothing can beat Encre Noire.

Presentation: 9/10
Uniqueness: 9/10
Value: 10/10
Longevity: 8/10
Projection: 9/10
Smell: 9/10

Overall: 9/10
02nd March, 2011

Tabu by Dana

Tabu, Have been excited about this little gem for a while. Somebody compared it to Givenchy Ange ou Demon, but I've later came to find out it's nothing like it but rather a dirty strong classical fragrance which got me even more excited. I expected something similar to obsession, vintage shalimar, or kouros. And I finally found a reasonably priced vintage violin bottle. I spray this little baby on, and my nose is met by mild floral notes of coriander, rose, neroli, and other flowers I can't distinguish, on top of an oriental background. Though I really HATED something about it. I was trying to figure it out, is it the floral notes? No, they're too weak. Is it the typical vintage make-up note? no I detect no powder or iris in it. Is it the Musk? this is hardly musky. Is it the Civet? No, no pee or poo notes.

Then, it finally hit me. The root of all evil notes, the sinister goblin that ruined so many orientals for me, the sacrilege of so many supposedly ambery or musky fragrances that I would've purchased otherwise.

PATCHOULI! How could I have not thought of this before? But why? And why is this considered a classic from the 1930s? I thought patchouli's hyped started in the 70s? but maybe my bottle is from the 70s, I'll never know or care to know. I hate patchouli and this fragrance was disappointing. The top notes did have a classic floral blend in them, but they were light and fleeting. You end up with a typical dusty patchouli past the first 10 minutes. If that's your thing then great, but I can't grasp why this fragrance is a "classic" or how it ever became a top seller, it smells and looks cheap. And did I mention it's a sticky fragrance? It is very sticky.

The dry down isn't that terrible though, very similar to naga champa, but I don't want to smell like that either. Montale's Patchouli leaf and PG L'Ombre Fauve are much better takes on Patchouli, and I'll pay the price difference for them despite my dislike of Patchouli.

This should be a Tabu to wear indeed, in a bad way.


Presentation: 4/10
Uniqueness: 4/10
Value: 4/10
Longevity: 6/10
Projection: 6/10
Scent: 3/10

Overall: 3/10
02nd March, 2011

Cuba Gold by Cuba Paris

I've left my Le Male bottle at my parents place for whenever I visit. Liked it but never figured out all the hype. But a few months without it, and hearing the constant raving about it, I wanted to rediscover it but didn't want to dish $60 on a bottle. I also have been only buying +$200 bottles lately, so I wanted to give the cheapie market ago. So I got this from ebay for less than $10, can't go wrong with that eh? It's the price of skipping a meal after school I suppose.

The packaging is actually not bad for the price. I'm surprised that they've got such a fine sprayer for a cheapie considering the abundance of dysfunctional expensive bottles lately (I'm talking about you Montale).

Anyway, I've never thought Le Male could smell anymore synthetic, but hey they managed to pull it off! As everyone else have mentioned, it is a slightly more watery, one dimensional version of Le Male, than that it's identical. It's cheap and very well made, but that doesn't mean it's worth buying, unless you're horribly broke or love Le Male so much you have to get every fragrance similar to it.

Oh by the way, if you don't know what Le Male smells like. I suggest you go out more. But Kidding aside, it's Vanilla+Cinnamon with a touch of mixed spices. Body Kouros still stays at #1 in this category for me, and it's also a cheapie, but semi-discontinued, so grab a bottle while you can, it's only another $10 more than this.

Presentation: 8.5/10
Uniqueness: 3/10
Value: 9/10
Longevity: 6/10
Projection: 6/10
Smell: 6/10

Overall: 7/10
02nd March, 2011
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Arabian Nights - Pure Oud by By Kilian

After one has been collecting fragrances for a while, hearing a lot of different takes, opinions or even insight from those working in the industry regarding the actual cost of the raw materials to make a fragrance...One can only begin to ask Philosophical questions of why am I paying this much for a composition of much cheaper raw materials? Well, surely fragrance making is an art, and you're paying for the idea, No? But you also got to keep in mind that a huge portion goes to the brand name, "exclusivity", advertisement, testers/samples (many times you don't get any of), the useless sales assistants and so on...

But're just paying for straight-up bullcrap. This is the case of By Kilian Pure Oud. I've seen people criticize M7 for not being an Oud fragrance...even some criticized Montale, and surely those are at the low-end compared to middle eastern creations. But What is exactly going on with Pure Oud? I smell Rubbery, dusty, musky wood with a touch of Saffron, to give a delusion of a synthetic oud? Even disregarding the oud reference I don't see how one might find this pleasant. It makes me think of a cheap version of Serge Noir.

Hey woodsy Rubber with a touch of Saffron on top might be your thing, but its' straight up misleading to name this "Pure Oud". And to price it at $400 for 50ml? "Oh yes Sir, Oud is the most expensive scent in the world, And By Kilian has acquired the highest quality natural stuff for the reasonable price of $400."

And to add more insult to injury, this perfume has pathetic longevity and projection. I don't mean to insult the other reviewers, maybe I've got a bad sample after all. But honestly, how many ouds have you tried? Do you know the difference between synthetic and natural oud? What about non-existent oud?

Over-priced, synthetic mess that gives an illusion of the wateriest cheap smelling oud I have tried in my entire life. Do yourself a favor and get a montale, YSL M7, or perhaps some middle eastern ouds.

This perfume is exactly why I sometimes feel like an idiot for dishing out money in the Niche Perfume Market and supporting the occasional bullcrap that goes around. By Kilian is a decent house, but their Oud line is a huge insult to anyone with the slightest experience in ouds and middle eastern blends.


Presentation: 9/10
Uniqueness: 3/10
Value: 1/10
Longevity: 3/10
Projection: 2/10
Smell: 3/10

Overall: 2/10
02nd March, 2011

Fire Island by Bond No. 9

Yes, This smells like a good suntan lotion. The good stuff only last for a few hours, and then you're left with nothing worth writing home about. However, I'm still impressed, this is quite a unique and fun fragrance that comes from a house with generally boring fragrances.

Despite the fact I have some respect for this fragrance, my only concern is, why would I want to smell like sun-tan lotion? This fragrance is decant worth at best for reference. Well, unless you do want to smell like suntan lotion when you're not at the beach, since obviously if you were at the beach you should be just using the real stuff.
18th November, 2010

Le Mâle Terrible by Jean Paul Gaultier

It is hard to review a flanker of a best seller without being biased to one side or the other. For me, Le Male Terrible has a citrus opening, mostly grapefruit, that makes no sense to me. I do not understand why it has a reputation of being "Terrible", just like the original, it's an overall synthetic, but somewhat pleasant citrus. I also do not understand how such opening would make a good combination with the cinammon-vanilla-candle the original was. After about 10 minutes, it started smelling like the original, with the bitter citrus leaving a very minor "dirty" impression. So, yes, that's it, Le Male with a different opening, that is lighter than the original. While there are a few fragrances that are similar to the original, and better; Body Kouros, Frapin Caravelle Epicee...etc, there are countless better alternatives to the citrus opening. So, while overall this fragrance is not bad, it is more generic than the original.

Nevertheless, I have to be honest, it gets bonus points from me for being a flanker that keeps it's originals spirit. It is certainly worth a try if you want to add a fragrance to your collection that is simply pleasant.
17th November, 2010

The One Gentleman by Dolce & Gabbana

I love the spicy, peppery, opening. However the dry down has no character of it's own and way too light. This fragrance is more fleeting than the original, which barely lasts 2-3 hours on me, I won't make the same mistake and purchase this one this time around, even if the dry down was better.
16th November, 2010

Lacoste Challenge by Lacoste

The first thing I've noticed about Challenge in a duty free shop is it's interesting bottle. I like the apple green color of the juice, I like the feel of rubber. And hey it looks and feels like a tennis rack handle.

So, I spray some on my arm, and I'm greeted with the typical fresh design opening, slowly creating a very vivid image in my mind; I'm playing tennis, I'm all sweaty, someone pushes me on the grass, pees on me, then washes me with rubbing alcohol. Luckily it only lasts like 10 minutes for one of the worst things I've tried.

And guess what? a few days after I get home from the airport, I receive a gift from someone. I saw the shape of the gift box and of all the possible things that could be given as a gift, the first thing I was thinking to myself "please don't be lacoste challenge".

The perfume gods must be playing some cruel joke on me.

Presentation: 7/10
Uniqueness: 3/10
Value: 2/10
Longevity: 1/10
Projection: 3/10
Smell: 2/10

Overall: 2/10
05th November, 2010 (last edited: 02nd March, 2011)

Pi by Givenchy

Pi for me sets the mark of the very average sweet oriental. It doesn't have anything that makes it stand out, say like the almond and smoky vanilla in hypnotic poison, it's not overally sweet and complex like serge lutens offerings, nor does it have a stand out note aside from the vanilla like tobaco vanille or musc ravageur. On the other hand it's not super synthetic like blue sugar, or too sweet like joop. It's simply...average. You get vanilla, some not cloyingingly sweet candy and a hint of burnt sugar. Longevity and projection are average.

It's a great fragrance to venture into the sweet gorumands/orientals. And as much as i'd love to give it a thumbs up for the spot it fills, after all it is an accomplishment to fill the spot of average in a genre dominated by either really good or really bad fragrances, i simply don't find myself reaching for it often. When I feel like going sweet I want something with more of an edge, and if I want to go safe I'd just pick up one of my ambers. Perhaps sugary and sweet gourmands are suppsed to only be either great or horrible and there's no place for the average.
05th November, 2010

Mukhallat by Montale

Montale's take on Pink Sugar. This probably would've been a best seller if Montale was more well known, but it is not (thankfully). There are countless better middle eastern type sweet orientals out there. Just go through the Serge Lutens line and you'll find something worthy of respect for sure. I must state that in my humble opinion that the reviews for this fragrance are misleading. This is a pleasant, very likable, easy to wear fragrance. As I said, it's the equivalent of pink sugar, definitely a compliment getter for a young girl. But it will make you sick if you don't enjoy sweet fragrance, and have a more sophisticated taste and higher expectations from montale.

This type of perfumes seems to be the direction many middle eastern houses are taking, creating potent Floral bombs, and synthetically sweet fragrances. Disappointed that montale jumped in the wagon with this one.
03rd November, 2010

Caravelle Epicée by Frapin

Spices, spices, spices. What more could you ask for? a perfect combination of sharp spices and sweet gourmand ones, topped with a touch of liquor. This is a perfect fragrance for something that smells "Christmas-y", it's delicious, warm and boozy. This fragrance reminds me of Body Kouros and Le Male, with higher quality, smoother building, and the complexity multiplied a couple of times. I'd say it's also close to Chergui without the strong honey opening, yet despite the similarity to chergui and other SL fragrances, it still feels simple as a whole, familiar, and not something that constantly tries to challenge you.

Longevity and Projection on this are fantastic, and despite being a spicy natural smelling fragrance, it never turns into a "body odor" smell on those hot days. I can not recommend this fragrance enough, Frapin is a small house with a very promising start.

A very solid 9/10
30th October, 2010

Reflection Woman by Amouage

The more Amouage I try, the more I get disappointed by the house, even though I was just blown away by gold. The house seems to have very slightly variations on the same theme of powdery florals, Incense and dried fruits, with a few exceptions that do truly make an addition to the amouage arsenal. Reflection happens to be one of those I'd consider a unique addition.

Having said that, and while I'd still give every other amouage a neutral rating based on the quality and superb blending alone, Reflection is the only amouage I've tried to this day I would straight up give a negative rating. While reflection is unique in the amouage line, it's a boring, generic, modern fresh fruity floral fragrances that the market is flooded with today. No exceptional quality here, very little incense and other interesting ingredients, just disgusting peach and flowers.
29th October, 2010

Soir d'Orient by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

If you have not found out yet, this fragrance was a limited edition released in two very small exclusive batches; one in the middle east and one in the boutique in Paris. You can say it is a flanker of Ambre Precieux. At least 1 out of 3 reviews I've read about it, and surprisingly it is reviewed a lot for such a hard to find fragrance, people have complained that it's identical to Ambre Precieux after the top notes are gone. As a person who holds Ambre Precieux as his favorite fragrance, and my nose has been familiarized with through several years, I can say that is Not the case.

Soir d'Orient opens with a stunning high quality animalic oud note for the first few minutes, the aoud slowly morphs into a more medicinal oud until it settles into the leathery middle notes about 20 minutes later. The middle of this fragrance is Leather, Leather and more leather. The leather here has a warm, grandparent room vibe to it. A couple of hours later the dry down, which is almost identical to Ambre Precieux, settles; Beautiful Sandalwood, Vanilla, Amber, with several spicy/herbal notes. It also attains Ambre Precieux very soft, creamy feeling. I am sure many people wouldn't understand from reading reviews of Ambre Precieux how it can be creamy, but it is. And all of the Ambre Precieux qualities are present throughout the life of the fragrance, but it definitely does not smell identical to it.

But here comes my complaint about this fragrance;
The top notes: Magical, sexy, addictive, animalic, just as PigeonMurderer described it "Intoxicating". One of the best high quality ouds I have smelt in my life, and I have tried quite a few being a middle eastern.

The middle notes: Soft, animalic leather, old person room vibe (in a good way). It's nice, but here's where the fragrance gets ruined for me, it is pleasant, but not something I see myself wearing, nor do I enjoy it, unless I want to be reminded of my gone grandmother. The leather notes last a good 6 hours.

The Basenotes: Ambre Precieux with traces of the leather.

This fragrance would be the perfect perfume for me, my holy grail if you may, if the oud notes were more prominent, And if the leather was toned down or completely gone. But for now, I'll search for a similar Aoud and layer it with Ambre Precieux, as hard as that may be. I can only hope MPG will create a strong oud fragrance, instead of this 10 minutes teaser.

As much as I was frustrated with this experience, this is still an all around good fragrance, final rating of: 8/10

If you find a bottle of this fragrance, grab it. It's not for everyone, but it's still too good to have been as limited.

17th October, 2010
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Noir Epices by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I was very excited to try out Noir Epices, dark spices! what could go wrong for a spices lover? a lot it seems.

Upon initial application, my nose was met with a strong pepper note. At this point, I was thinking, okay I am not a big pepper fan, but the reset of the spices must be on their way. However, a few minutes later a floral note started to emerge. I don't see any one else mentioning the floral note, perhaps it's just something that smells floral. So past the 'alright' pepper opening, I ended up with a pepper spray covering a bouquet of flowers, those soft notes struggle to come forward, but the pepper is chocking them. Absolutely no balance, and the fragrance lasts forever.

I have been disappointed with a few Frederic Malle fragrances due to not being unique, of high quality or strong and long lasting enough for the price point. But this is the first one that I'm disappointed with solely due to the vile smell. It's still a favorite of many it seems, and that's a lot to say when it has to compete with Iris Poudre, Carnal Flower, Musc Ravageur and Vetiver extraordinaire. So, give this one a try if you're a fan of non-sweet peppery fragrances.
29th September, 2010

Dahn Al Oudh Moattaq by Ajmal

If you want a middle eastern Aoud "Mukhallat" (e.g. not pure Aoud oil) that still isn't too middle to appeal to foreigners of that perfume realm, I'd say Dahn Al Oudh Moattaq is the way to go. It a somewhat Musky ambery Aoud, not the typical thick, syrpy somewhat medicinal Aoud fragrance, yet it's not too western like M7 or covered up with Rose like most of Montale's offerings.

Overall I don't have much to say about this one except it's a great fragrance to start in the Aoud world and it's one of the very few Ajmal perfumes that I don't have an allergic reaction to. As far as I know it comes in three version: An EdP, an intense EdP (Parfum?) and a pure Aoud form which runs up for $400+. I've only tried the regular EdP and the Aoud oil versions, and I like the EdP better. The oil one is just a typical high quality Aoud that is somewhat over-priced.
24th August, 2010

Gucci pour Homme II by Gucci

I have to begin by saying this fragrance has been the biggest disappointment to my expectations ever. I love tea, yet it never crossed my mind for a long time to look for a tea fragrance, thus when I heard about this one while browsing around I immediately went to try it. Right after applying it, you get the top notes, but they last very briefly you can easily miss them. After that it's just sweet creamy tea, smells exactly like a Vanilla Earl Grey tea I have. It's a very lovely smell, and after trying it I really wanted to smell like that.

However, getting to the bad part; This fragrance does not project, and it absolutely has no longevity. And when I say it has no longevity I mean it really has no lasting power. I have a skin that very few fragrances last up to their average longevity on others or their advertised longevity. Yet of all the perfumes I tried this one has to be the one with the shortest life. Not even 30 minutes! and you have to drive into your wrist to smell it even right after spraying it.

Absolutely not worth the price, or any price, no matter how good it smells. It's just a bad "tease" for a tea fragrance. I haven't tried any other Tea fragrance yet (looking forward for Tea for Two), but I doubt this is the best Tea the perfume industry has to offer. It's slightly above average scent-wise, but I love Tea. Also, sadly I LOVE the bottle and would like to add it to my collection. But as attractive as it is, and as much as I love tea, I have more chances of smelling like tea if I put a tea bag in my pocket than I have by spraying this on. I can not emphasis on how much there is no excuse for a perfume, from a somewhat reputable house, to smells this weak.
21st August, 2010

Silver Scent by Jacques Bogart

My friend were raving a lot about this perfume, and all I could smell is a synthetic mess. It's not REALLY REALLY bad as a scent per se, but there are so many fragrances that do what it does a million times better, And they don't have to offend you with such insane projection. By no means its' hard to find an alternative to this, Burberry London is an easy one.

If anybody claims that this scent gets compliments, it's probably because it has a lot of sillage, and sometimes being loud gets more positive attention than being actually good. Be thankful if none of your friends owns this and suffocates you with this monstrosity every time you ride the same car with him.
04th August, 2010

M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

M7 was one of the few fragrances that were love at first sniff for me. I hardly detect the citrus notes, as it begins with Spicy Aoud with a little bit of the Rosemary for me. As it gets to the dry down, it becomes more of a sweet spicy fragrance with a little bit of the Aoud playing with the basenotes.

I've found that a few reviewers in here hate on this perfume due to the fact it's always brought up in when an Aoud discussion takes place. This fragrance is by no means an "Aoud" fragrance, and it should not be treated as so. It only has a strong, but not dominant, Aoud note. It's still a decent perfume to introduce one to the world of Aoud. However if you want a hard-Aoud scent, look into the Montale's or Arabian Attars.
02nd August, 2010