Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Darvant

Total Reviews: 2518

Día De Los Muertos by Urban Scents

One of the better appointed smoky/rubbery-floral frankincenses in my personal olfactory experience. This juice conjures me intensely a favorite of mine, the muskier and equally citric-resinous Etro Messe de Minuit. Urban Scents Dia de los muertos is a superb assertive fragrance rich of liturgy and spirituality, a scent which evokes in my mind midnight masses impregnated by the aroma of burning incense and memories about juvenile walks around the churchyard's silent alleys pervaded by the aroma of flowers and "dust". Frankincenses, rubber, woody-smoky patchouli and citrus are heady but I'm quite sure several further notes are included in the blend (I suppose myrrh, balsams, musks and some floral patterns). The aroma is vaguely fizzy/acid for a while along the top stage, in order of sliding soon towards a spiritual fruity-floral aura incredibly pervasive (definitely obsessive) and almost "yummy" (yes it seems to stimulate senses and palate). I detect neroli in particular, a spicy neroli quite intense and "relentless" (the day of dead is pervaded by the aroma of flowers as well). I appreciate enormously the well calibrared juxtaposition of smokey resins and citrus/floral, overall enveloled by a sort of connective musky/amberish blanket. A wonderful evocative fragrance able to teleport us in to a southern medieval atmosphere countersigned by burning torches, secret ceremonies, massive nobiliar buildings, medieval towns and nocturnal masses. Excellent.
03rd December, 2019

Jasmagonda 23.1 by Parfumerie Generale

A salty/sweet powdery diaphane Parfumerie Generale-concoction created by the ingenious Pierre Guillaume (in its typical dusty-liquid conceptual assertive-meditative style) based on a game of contrasts (salty marine notes and dusty-sweet woody powder, floral leafiness and woody earthiness, citric initial fizziness and tonkinian final softness). Lymphatic Magnolia is laced with ozonic patterns, watery cedarwood, "liquid vetiver" and citrus nailing down a sort of standoffish fluidy moody (urban but vaguely "asian") acid effect while vanillin and "sugary" tonka provide a somewhat ambery soapy-dusty (sweeter) final "pillow". This creation seems lacking full structure and substance, as I detect sometimes while testing on skin several entirerly natural watery-woody pretentious niche creations. In a nutshell I frankly find Jasmagonda overly fragile and distant, though this juice seems finally rooting its (secret) quality in a sort of "classic" spicy-fresher ostensibly-fougerè ghostly undertone a la vintage Ysl Opium PH Edt or Boucheron Jaipur Edt (unless this is on the contrary just the olfactive illusion provided to my nose by the contrast with the smell of the juice I'm wearing "on the neck" while reviewing). This mysterious quality partially redeems the basic olfactory vacuity of the whole olfactory fatigue. To bè thoroughly tested "case by case, skin by skin".
29th November, 2019 (last edited: 30th November, 2019)

Kiste by Slumberhouse

Kiste is like a cozy winter-afternoon spent inside an american "country" (antique furnishing-type) tea-room impregnated by the aromas of pipe tobacco, honeyed cakes, fruity tea and rum. Peach and yummy tonka are quite dominant. The booziness is light and balanced (never liquorous or too spicy), a ghostly herbal accord lingers around for a while. Patch takes finally the stage in a soft yummy way (never earthy, aggressive or hippie). Yes, this semi-oriental is one of the most affordable and versatile from the Slumberhouse-line, I see it. Not exactly a structured fragrance but more properly the reconstruction of very ancestral atmospheres. A finally smooth "ambiance" aroma rich of deep american odours of rare "cloudy" ages from our arcane childhood.
27th November, 2019 (last edited: 29th November, 2019)
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Velvet Incenso by Dolce & Gabbana

Velvet incenso is strong on cistus (mossy and vaguely leathery), "mineral" black pepper and smooth/soothing resins. The aroma is anything but structured or articulated but in its complex smells definitely spiritual and encompassing (with its full aura of otherwordly "forest-mountain" spiritual loneliness). I detect a mossy foggy atmosphere of "isolation" and lot of silence and assertiveness. Frankly I miss the special x factor able to elevate the juice from the crowded range of frankincense-founded olfactory experiences. Pepper and hesperides make the top stage vibrant and palpitating while the following evolution tends to be muskier and smoother. The final trail is an anonymous, somewhat resinous, vaguely rubbery long wake kind of exotic and definitely chic (less spiritual and finally more urban).
15th November, 2019

Velvet Patchouli by Dolce & Gabbana

All I get is another damp powdery patchouli which does not add new elements to the "niche" olfactory panorama. The Velvet Patchouli's evolution is "law profile" and you can finally get just a sort of silky talky/ambery patch vaguely almondy, aristocratic and definitely musky. Beautiful but not enough to switch on my fire.
13th November, 2019

Spice Blend by Christian Dior

A volatile evanescent pink spicy/musky/semi-oriental frankly unnecessary and pale. It seems to smell something a la Maria Lux Deeply, Heeley Agarwood or several Amouage Opus. The density is kind of ephemeral and the aroma morphs soon towards something waving in the air, rosey, sweetly spicy, slightly resinous, soapy/poudree, almost candied and definitely ambery-musky. Anonimous and a low temperament spicy concoction.
13th November, 2019

Gris Dior / Gris Montaigne by Christian Dior

The hesperidic (slightly acid) Gris Montaigne's opening conjures me vaguely for a while the vintage Habit Rouge Edt from the 90's (just an illusion) before to ascertain the emersion of a more profane contemporary lush (jammy floral) presence supported by a warm synth ambery/tangerinic patchouli kind of sultry and musky (in this further phase it seems to handle with a more banal Elie Saab Le Parfum, Cartier La Pantere or several vulgar PR Black Xs or Marc Jacob's). Frankly a disappointment.
13th November, 2019

Le Gemme : Ambero by Bulgari

Yes, Ambero starts as a quite peppery spicy/oriental (piquant, "stout", woody and saffronish, vaguely a la Herrera Mystery Tobacco) in order to gradually evolve in to such a "familiar" woody/ambery/resinous concoction a la Les Liquides Imaginaires Fortis, Carner Barcelona Cuirs and yes Acqua di Parma Colonia Ambra (with that typical gassy/woody feel provided by synth aoudh). A tad of frankincense provides a final subtle-chic spark which nevertheless does not manage to refine an overly rough untamed concoction. Disappointing under my profane nose (despite such a fragrance could appeal to several macho-scents'addicted), I definitely prefer the amazing Gyan over this one.
07th November, 2019 (last edited: 08th November, 2019)

Singular Oud by Urban Scents

Urban Scents Singular Oud is a fantastic saffronish/resinous frankincense with a fresh (spicy-aromatic) figgy opening and a quite sombre rubbery-woody-smoky soul a la Tom Ford Ombrè Leather. The saffronish-figgy initial fresh twist quickly fades on behalf of a following (and darker) woody-resinous core kind of mysterious and urban (actually the rubbery-fruity substance turns the initial liturgical dominance in to something finally lighter -drier-woodier-, metropolitan and darkly glamour). The fruity-aromatic-woody patterns provide balance, coolness and modern versatility. Dry down is woodier and even darker (but still fresh, "fluidy-aromatic", slightly leathery and wearable), with a bold performance and a sort of aromatic-pencil shavings vibe a la Carbone Balmain or Montana Graphite. A fragrance for a contemporary man, cosmopolitan and epicurious. An urban little aromatic gem for a mysterious night out in the hood.

01st November, 2019

Supremacy Silver by Afnan

Pratically an Aventus-twin. Fruity, coniferous and smoky. A clone, durable on my skin.
28th October, 2019

Lost Paradise by Urban Scents

This green-floral Urban Scents-juice (initially fresh, "wide", musky, sparkling and art decò in style a la Oriza L. Legrand) is an all about musky osmanthus/magnolia's accord. The general Lost Paradise's atmosphere is green, resinous, soapy-opaque, enchanted and silvan, as in a sort of fairy tiny ambience of elves and mysterious minuscule creatures from the secret wood. A tad of citrus introduce the botanic valzer. Osmanthus and magnolia (immediately heady in a general musky dimension) elicit a particularly leafy, herbal, restrained and bitter-lymphatic aristocratic aura. While osmanthus smells more properly "aqueous", "silent" and transpatent magnolia is royal, acid-leafy, languid, moody and victorian. There is a sort of victorian atmosphere all around the wearer. Musk, patchouli, a tad of soapiness and jasmine provide a finally chic (more "urban") sophisticated spark (the contemporary side of the moon). Along the way the aroma becomes even more rounded, soapy, warm and elegant (in a modern urban-glamour way - in this stage it seems to detect hints of tobacco as in the vintage D&G ph formula). The whole olfactory level is convincing and solid since this fragrance is well balanced, at same time retrò and avant-garde, polished and versatile, fresh and warm. Highly recommended, excellent. Unisex but slightly leaning towards the feminine side.
21st October, 2019 (last edited: 22nd October, 2019)

Desert Rose by Urban Scents

Simply one of the veritable best takes on spicy/musky roses out there. If you appreciate cardamomish floral fragrances a la Cartier Declaration or Declaration d'un Soir go no further without missing this take from Urban Scent. Desert Rose just provides a sort of unisex version of that type of spicy/rosey concept with the addition of a gentler (which does not mean softer) sexy musky-chic feminine spark. Musk is the king in here alongside cardamom, spicy rose and something else kind of leafy-floral (could bè lily of the valley or something different, geranium?). The floral element is intensely indolic, acid, kind of fizzy, musky and grassy all at once. Spices (mostly airy ginger, cardamom and cloves under my profane nose) are dry (yes peppery) but kind of penetrating, juicy and pungent at same time. I even detect the soapy/leafy (dry floral) rosey twist a la Perris Montecarlo Rose de Taif. I've read somewhere that Salicylic acid (one of listed patterns) is found in essential oils and as a plant hormone in the leaves, blossoms and roots of various plants, unfolding a sort of pleasant minty-aromatic (vaguely hesperidic) odor, which can be definitely perceived in here (as a sort of grassy aromatic vibe). The name of this scent is inappropriate imo since this rose is other than fully arid, being on the contrary something finally velvety, vivid, botanical, sparkling and chic (with its musky-floral kind of soapy spark). Cardamom finally emerges in all its musky splendor (vaguely reminiscent of cardamomish beasts a la Cartier Declaration or Frapin L'Humaniste). Desert Rose Is ideally a sort of olfactory encounter among urban spicy roses a la Déclaration d'un Soir and the romantic Mf Kurkdjian Lumière Noire PH's rosey woody/aromatic rendition. A perfect unisex rosey scent for a globetrotter edonist who wanna leave a trail.
09th October, 2019 (last edited: 10th October, 2019)

Dark Vanilla by Urban Scents

Urban Scents Dark Vanilla is a decadent accord of resins and balsams, an heliotropic tonkinian amber/vanilla-accord a la E. Coudray Amber et Vanille. Heliotrope is immediately heady, kind of spicy, almondy and amberish. The ambery soul provides a nocturnal sort of baroque sense of decadence. A really dark vanilla (utterly darkened by herbal and dark fruity elements) encompasses the elements in a sort of mystic oriental aura (silent, elusive, mysterious, palatin). Probably rose and ylang-ylang are included in the blend enhencing victorian grace and orientalism. The exotic (heliotropic/resinous) lingering vibe conjures me the Etro Heliotrope's arostocratic and cultured royalty. Vanilla is just a part of a more articulated affair. One of the best dark vanille ever tested on skin.
22nd September, 2019
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Good Girl by Carolina Herrera

A sort of creamy-sultry synth jasmine (I get a creamy supporting patch-presence as well). Tuberose is accessorial and well rounding (couldn't bè defined "chocolatey"). CH Good Girl is mundane and super floral. I detect a more restrained kind of classic (ambery/saffronish) wise sensual undertone. A modern glamour kind of fragrance with a bold/carnal presence and a chic twist. A daring bottle.
17th September, 2019

Bentley for Men Absolute by Bentley

A blend of woody (vaguely pencil shavings in vibe), resinous and dry spicy elements. Ideally a sort of Gucci Ph/Montana Graphite/V&R Spicebomb-combination plus a vague toasted tobacco/toasted coffee-veined sort of undertone. Ginger (connected to a tad of hesperides) is featuring and responsible of the kind of watery/aromatic spark (slightly classic in vibe). The dry (kind of woods/paper-oriented) spicy dustiness is mostly provided by peppercorn and papyrus (notable under my vulgar nose). A minimal touch of anything gourmandish? Probably is just the combination of resins and spices. Dry down is more restrained, vaguely musky and virile (as for a kind of ambergris-pattern).
17th September, 2019

Scent Intense Red Edition Parfum by Costume National

To be honest I hardly detect any difference with the "classic" original Scent Intense dark bottle. Stronger sillage? Not on my skin. Probably I detect something smoother somewhere (tuberose? Not sure about). Slightly subdued the suedish final twist of the original formula (98% in here identical imo). Dark, chic, urban, glamour, mysterious. The top for clubbing among the dark/chic perfumes out there.
14th September, 2019

Vetiver Réunion by Urban Scents

Vetiver Rèunion represents my first approach with Urban Scents, an indipendent Berlin-based niche laboratory alchemically processing pure ingredients yet harvested and handcrafted by independent little manufactories. Passion for pure ingredients and nature as vehicle our mind to be conveyed in to a sort of senses-journey seems to be the main imput for the creative work of the talented perfumeur Marie Urban - le Febvre. As regards the fragrance itself I can say Vetiver Rèunion is neither a tipically grassy nor a purely earthy sort of vetiver, this is basically an urban refined "liquid-peppery" realistic vetiver quite melancholic, metropolitan and definitely saturnine. Introvert lovelorn men of the asian megalopolis (perfectly groomed in their minimalistic dark sleek starched styles) should sublimate their ghosty souls as encompassed by such an enigmatic aroma. Pepper is absolutely noticeable along the top stage, quite prickly, wet and vibrant. It is the perfect complement for a musky/woody vetiver sliding towards a musky smoother alley. The vetiver's soul is smooth and super realistic (kind of "fragrant", rounded and musky) but the "long tailed" scent's fluidity provided by peppery woodiness renders the aroma sharper, damper and more assertive. A tad of muskiness finally rounds and soothens this moody edgy alchemy from the dark forest indeed. Scents a la Lalique Encre Noir (as ideally combined with Jacobs Bang and the damp l'Erbolario Ginepro Nero) jump vaguely on mind along the journey. The juice is not particularly rich or articulated but is definitely solid and realistic (the note of vetiver is actually intense, natural and exotic). I detect a sense of mystery and urban loneliness conjuring me vaguely an Haruki Murakami's typical metropolitan scenario from his masterwork 1Q84. Recommended especially for the lovers of the dominant raw material (an intense vetiver).
12th September, 2019 (last edited: 13th September, 2019)

Borgo by Acqua di Portofino

The perfect gracious dreamy fruity feminine concoction veined by light floral twists, a dominant airy dry lightness and by a sheer central muskiness (hyper feminine and sensual) finally enriched by super calibrated hints of soapiness. Hyper chic (more than vaguely a la Elie Saab Le Parfum), that's how this scent could bè defined despite I detect a touch of victorian languid classicism in its structure. I get lot resemblance with Narciso Rodriguez for her which is less articulated and basically more rosey and "creamy" (still preserving Borgo a touch of "classicism" especially along the articulated top and central stage). Dry down is soapier and exotic (with its dreamy accord of musk, balsams, ylang-ylang and white flowers). The final trail is fresh and elegant, a fragrance always perfect for a tenacious and self-confident kind of projectful woman full of passion and dynamism.
09th September, 2019

Acqua di Portofino Uomo by Acqua di Portofino

Acqua di Portofino Uomo EDT Intense (with all its repertoire of fresh hesperides, neroli, lavender, aromatic herbs, light spices and musk) is a modern rendition of a classic formula which in here seems kind of retracing the history of notorious pieces of perfumery, neo-classics and great classics a la Eau Sauvage, Blenheim Bouquet, several classic accords from 4711, Acqua di Parma Colonia, Acqua di Genova Colonia Classica, Capucci Pour Homme, several Guerlain Aqua Allegoria and Eau de Cologne Imperiale, Officina delle Essenze Puro Neroli, L'Occitane En Provence Eau de Cologne Orange Leaves, Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Sicilia Colonia, Geo F. Trumper Eau de Portugal, original Zagara di Sicilia, Roger&Gallet Jean Maria Farina Extra Vieille, La Via del Profumo Cologne de L'Empereur etc, etc. This zesty fragrance exudes sparkling brightness, citric/floral restraint, aromatic barber shop stiffness and hesperidic "Imperial" tradition. Nothing new under the sun in its dominant "hesperidic/cologney theme's treatment" but definitely this is a quite "fragrant" bitter/citrusy/floral homage to a timeless botanic tradition. Fresh fizzy "neroli-oriented" old-school appeal.
P.S: Over a couple of hours or more the "cologney" vibe recedes, the dry down appears far more pleasant and restrained, a virile trail more amberish, rooty and peppery, still cool but drier and less bannally hesperidic. This is the contemporary twist of this classic in style juice, making out the aroma kind of bolder and dandier.
02nd September, 2019

Blue Seduction for Men by Antonio Banderas

Blue Seduction is a modern fruity crispy summer fragrance, vaguely melony, minty, musky and airy/ozonic. I see the reference to Versace Man Eau Fraiche while I don't specifically catch the cappuccio-vibe, probably this is the final "smoothie-feel" I get (a balmy soapy musky vibe partially soothing the general crispiness). Casual, synth, easy going and dynamic.
01st September, 2019

King of Seduction Absolute by Antonio Banderas

Basically a juice in line with a contemporary humid/spicy-aromatic/woody kind of (taking the world by storm) format. The former (as nowadays frequent) encloses several fruity/salty patterns in the blend as well. The note of grapefruit is in here dominant (along with a marine touch and the aromatics) and characterizes the woody/leathery and spicy/fruity soul of the aroma. Lavender and cardamom provide the aromatic side of the perfumed affair. Cardamom, marine patterns, lavender and vetiver grant a sort of cool woodsy vibe which smells kind of fresh, exotic and sort of tart/lemony/metallic. Finally leather (fresh and fruity) jumps up as complement to aromatic woodiness and fresh marine patterns. Try to combine a recent woody Armani's a la Eau de Cèdre with juices a la Bvlgari Man Extreme and Paco Rabanne Invictus and you can have an idea of what Antonio Banderas King of Seduction Absolute smells like. Nothing bad at all with this fragrance, just not my style yet something caught in the air around dozens and dozens of times.
29th August, 2019

Azzaro pour Homme Edition Noire by Azzaro

Finally a good new flanker, a convinving reinterpretation of the great classic. Edition Noire is an aromatic-fougerè. It opens quite aromatically (quite soapy, anisic, green, intoxicating and balsamic with geranium, anise, bitter orange, sage and further) in order to morph in to a more complex and balanced piece of exotic dark virility which conjures me sensibly the classic Versace L'homme (in a more delicate and aromatic vest), with moss, bold patchouli, vetiver, spices and a touch of leather. It seems to detect a whiff of soft tobacco as well. A sort of blend between the classic Azzaro PH and the great Versace L'homme under my vulgar nose.
21st August, 2019

Spicebomb Extreme by Viktor & Rolf

A well appointed olfactory connection between woods, spices, fruity tobacco and vanilla. The latter is slightly enhanced (comparing Extreme with the original Sb's formula), spices are still there (probably with same intensity or vaguely less peppery) while the (amped up) note of tobacco is more fruity, creamy, "perfumed" and rounded. Dry down is likeable although the notable pencil-shavings kind of woodiness conjures me vaguely scents a la Montana Graphite, Carbone de Balmain, CdG Black, Gucci Pour Homme I, Autoportrait by Olfactive Studio and further which represent not properly my ideal genre (actually I don't go crazy for the pencil-shaving's vibe). I suppose Carolina Herrera has taken from Spicebomb Extreme inspiration for its more recent and drier Mystery Tobacco. I detect elements in common with the darker and woodsier Bottega Veneta Pour Homme Parfum as well. In conclusion I'd give this scent an attentive try if the overmentioned creations are under your radar or tend to appeal your personal taste.
15th August, 2019 (last edited: 17th August, 2019)

Stercus by Orto Parisi

Don't bè fooled by the name guys since Stercus is basically a light and wearable Gualtieri's creation. No doubts Stercus could bè considered as a sort of Black Afgano's little relative and I'd add Pardon, Orto Parisi Boccanera and Duro as evident ancestors and source of inspiration for the Stercu's following inception. First of all.. Stercus is a woody/musky/floral/yummy accord which, despite the scary name, is not properly so fecal or wildly animalic (at least on my skin). The aroma shares with Black Afgano several elements imo (patch, agarwood, tobacco, spices, leather, musk, may be cocoa and definitely undiscernible oriental/floral patterns) but while BA is more specifically green, resinous, smokey and "narcotic" Stercus smells more softly musky, kind of chocolatey, restrained, leathery and oriental. Probably synth animalic elements (synth ambergris more than civet) are included in the formula while musky and sweet oriental "harmless" patterns take the scene with the role of protagonists. No doubts woods could bè considered central in the formula and I detect kind of vintage (like mahogamy) woods plus cedarwood with hints of leather and a sort of "old dusty book papery smell-vibe". The musky oriental elements make the woody aroma kind of creamy, balmy and musky. Anyway, I detect mostly spicy musk and creamy woods plus something edible as chocolate under my profane nose (which make this juice lot in tune with Nasomatto Pardon as well). In conclusion, if you appreciate Black Afgano but perceive it on skin kind of too powerful, resinous or smokey/green you can give this juice a chance since it smells definitely more wearable, soft, "ordinary" and measured.
10th August, 2019

Intense Pepper by Montale

Fluidy, peppery, woodsy, dusty, vaguely stark and melancholic. I see the final connection with Greyland because of the damp forest-woodiness which is in this case aroused and supported by an initial zesty (citrusy) pepper-blast, waving around throughout. A simplistic yet boring woody fragrance (lot of cedarwood) with a dominant peppery presence. 5/5.
28th July, 2019

Azzaro pour Homme Hot Pepper by Azzaro

Combining stark synth gassy woodiness and peppery spices (with no frills and "embellishments") is never an easy affair and this juice is a demonstration of it. Woody dry "molecular" spiciness (pungent and intoxicating) and a minimal final tad of sweeter resinous anonymous softness. I detect throughout that disturbing stark gassy-synthetic woody/peppery feel which I utterly dislike. Not for me.
20th July, 2019 (last edited: 21st July, 2019)

Colonia Ebano by Acqua di Parma

For a while it smells as a sort of new Terre d'Hermes-close relative (hesperides, vetiver, patchouli, petitgrain, pepper), just a sort of new "flat" version, less floral, more one-dimensional; finally liquid vetiver recedes and Colonia Ebano turns out like a mediocre woody-honeyed synth dark scent (kind of cedary, flat, vaguely suedish and somewhat gassy). Ebony is dominant, dark and quite straighforward, I don't catch a lot of further presences along the monothematic dry down. Really un-worthy the price. 5/5.
06th July, 2019

Extreme 1920 by Bois 1920

A sort of Davidoff Zino's close relative and La Martina Cuero's first cousin, just more sandalwood in the mix and a fainter patchouly with the floral wave of a royal jasmine. Retro in vibe and classic.
30th June, 2019

Égoïste Cologne Concentrée by Chanel

Hard to find. The formula is somewhat identical to the Edt's one, anyway the ambrette seed/sandalwood-presence is in here pushed up, exuding finally out a richer, boozier, dirtier and warmer aroma, sort of really sexy and unapologetic (while the eau de toilette-formula stresses the presence of rosewood and aromatics which migrate - running through spices and dark roses - towards a finally oriental/woody base). Sillage and longevity are finally stronger. This fragrance is at same time super classy and dirty in a quite erotic musky/ambery way. Sex machine.
30th June, 2019

Bottega Veneta Eau Sensuelle by Bottega Veneta

Floral tartness and "violet" (almost moody and vaguely berrish) fizzy fruitiness with a touch of pencil shavings musky woodiness. The touch of vanilla is well calibrated and kind of balancing. A sort of feminine "new" powerhouse, dark and bold.
24th June, 2019 (last edited: 25th June, 2019)