Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Darvant

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Total Reviews: 2444

Alien by Thierry Mugler

A super genial piece of glamour-chic modern perfumery. Alien is weird, carnal/dissonant, floral/poudre, sweet/acid, in perfect Thierry Mugler's style. An hyper fancy synth sambac jasmine's rendition. Deeply influencing in my opinion the following Esoteric by Alyssa Ashley, this scent is an interplanetary barbarian, a sort of extraterrestrial, metallic, balsamic, synthetic frozen vanilla/floral serum's smell, a space shuttle in which I detect the hand of the sadly departed Laurent Bruyere, the king of chic fragrances, working in here side by side with Dominique Ropion in order to blend this sort of perfumed Swarovski. Many assume this is a modern daily time scent while in my opinion this scent is decidedly a night time fragrance even if not exactly dark and mysterious in substance. This one is essencially a chic and sophisticated evening creation. The first burst is earthy and citric-metallic, a sort of roaring synthetic punch that becomes soon flowery in a sophisticated way. The flower protagonist is the jasmine, properly sambac jasmine, a special quality which is assumed to be a pillar of the chic-aura's effect. As well as Foetidus mentioned, this kind of jasmine has an immediate earthy-rooty undertone which, combined with citrusy notes, determines a sort of " metallurgic-floral " opening. The heart introduces an accord provided by interaction between cashmeran, a woody musky element, and the admittedly synthetic Solar note, a sort of artificial element that I can't catch in its essence but that has assumedly a sort of airy, balsamic and vanillic hispid smell. The base notes are mastered by white amber, a softly woody-musky kind of amber, a sort of airy and sunny kind of woody-powdery aroma. Alien is a very chic and modern experiment which, on a pretty daring woman, could wave out as a dangerous burst of pure sex.
19th May, 2010 (last edited: 16th August, 2016)

Sel de Vétiver by The Different Company

Masterly evocative scent that I even prefer over the glorious Vetiver Guerlain and the strongly earthy vetivers around a la Etro's and Route du Vetiver. In my perception this is a sort of colonial exotic vetiver that epitomizes the colonial universe with its oceanic woody ships, the spices, the epic crossings of the sea, the multicolored quarters, the islands, the elysian parrots, the white clothed traders smoking cigars, the sultry and carnal luxuriant vegetation etc. SDV is in my opinion an exotic, ozone, floral-salty vetiver, slightly citric, fruity and earthy in the top, sliding soon in to a flowery (Iris, geranium?), iodated, spicy bourbon vetiver where the vulgarity of the roots and the spices is tamed by the ylang ylang soapiness. This is the vetiver of a windy sunny day on a oceanic green coast, the iodine smell is sweetly blown on your face. At the beginning of development the fruity citric initial burst reminds to me vaguely the aroma of a mediterranean garden by coloured flowers, citrus and fruits. A touch of patchouli in the dry down enhances the exoticism of the scent and anchors this fragrance to the manly universe due to its combination with bourbon vetiver. I would wear it in a sunny, airy, busy day in Caracas or Panama City. A dreamy scent anyway. The longevity is medium for this scent that is in my opinion one of the best daily time concoctions recently (in the last ten years at least) created.
03rd May, 2010 (last edited: 03rd January, 2014)

Aqua pour Homme by Bulgari

Inhaling this one I imagine a forest of pines dominating on a promontory beaten by a stormy splashing ocean in a shadowy, winter late afternoon. The dark/green threatening ocean is dreadful and deep and the waves are high and bursting. This one belongs to the ozone-marine family, probably the most infamous of the genres among the scents addicted. It's not my favourite type of fragrances for sure but i disagree with the tendency to discredit previously (as for an intellectual principle) some olfactory genre or family, since each of those owns the same basic dignity in my opinion. This is a really appreciable fragrance anyway, silent and pure in an almost transcendant way. In particular what strikes me is its" mountainous-marine", slightly prickly trail of cool breeze. I detect the presence of something like a citric-green-piney aroma combined with fruity, floral, aldehydic and peppery elements providing a smell that conjures me a frozen type of breeze from the winter sea beating on a woodsy coast. Aqua dry down turns out in terms of "firs and pines" coniferous-ambery-salty ozone effect. The sophistication of the scent is provided by some sharp flowers in the mix, may be jasmine that enters in the middle, following the fruity initial burst and as prelude to a woody-ambery-balsamic dry down. Aqua belongs to those kinds of aquatics not bad for a cool spring time evening out.
30th April, 2010 (last edited: 03rd January, 2014)
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Fahrenheit by Christian Dior

Classic and very unique scent, by far better than the following flanckers, cult fragrance among women of the earth. This juice has mastered the 80's and the 90's but still now is on the edge. As well as many times was said Fahrenheit is the scent of green-floral, motor oil-gasoline and violets smell which ends down in to a leathery-woody-ambery resinous accord. What I find marvellous is the inedited (at that time) association of the elements (resinous, rubbery, floral, woody) that infuses its original petroleum flowery averagely dry and fresh substance. I detect in the dry down that minimal touch of tonka bean which seems to impress the typical fresh, nutty, smokey rounded effect. Very powerful (in projection) and distinctive it has a remarkable longevity. Versatile in all the situations, either in the day and night time.
28th April, 2010 (last edited: 03rd January, 2014)

Héritage Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

Distinction and style could hardly reach higher peaks. A "patrician" piece of olfactive artistry. We are talking about one of the best business distinguished scents ever created (all at once luxurious and exotic), wearing this one you will surely close the deal. What a masterful creation Heritage Guerlain is, the last Jean Paul's giant, powerful but at same time discreet, decidedly refined and decadent although not exclusively baroque, substantially the elegance of the new millennium in a bottle (while Habit rouge represented an epic and historical archetype of elegance). Heritage is a somewhat forbidding fragrance, I mean in the sense it infuses an aura of extreme spicy seriousness and severity. This scent, as a masterly work of balancements, starts with a top of indolent bergamot, fresh coriander and citrus lavender that anchor the juice to tradition, than a spicy-floral (quite peppery, earthy and rosey) middle is the prelude to a woody, well balanced, vanillic-ambery (vaguely incensey) base with its refined spicy-rooty patchouli backbone in perfect accord with the traditional, peppery fougere opening. Pure classy multifaceted Guerlinade. Really close to Davidoff Zino (rose, vanilla/patchouli, oriental spices, sandalwood) despite I find Heritage higher in aristocratic decadence and possibly more complex. The presence of spices, first of all the pepper, is bold and mastering. Perfecty appointed is in my opinion is the link between lavender (a key note, finally freshly powdery-vanillic), tonka bean, patchouli and a magistrally modulated vanilla which represents the refined soul of a complex scent which includes in subtle touches also a bunch of restrained flowers, and an important presence of woodsy elements like patchouli, cedarwood, sandalwood, oakmoss, and furthers. A stable in my collection.
27th April, 2010 (last edited: 05th October, 2016)

Black XS by Paco Rabanne

A fragrance for the wolves of the darkness, the scent of the young gangsters and the metals. In my opinion this is one of the darkest fragrances out there, naughty, gothic in a modern way, the goth of a desolate, gloomy ukrainian club in the middle of a cold winter season while you are roaming in black leather clothed around the dancefloor, in order to catch one of the few relentless, lonely, half drunk girls
stuck at counter. Suicide music, squallid unmodern place, disconsolate souls, smell of onions and spirits around, danger in the air. Despite the captivating youthful packaging this flanker could also be considered due for the adulthood and surely mature (though in a brash synthetic way) and bold (that doesn't mean refined), although unfortunately the praline note is a bit too much "chemical". Black xs is a sour-sweet, spicy, fruity monster sillage. The bitter tone is determined by a smell close to lemon and dry pineapple as flanked by sage, than in the middle enters in scene the protagonist, a sort of dry, cold, simil-strawberry note mixed with dark spices (cinnamon and pepper) which extends its strength sliding in to a patchouli leaves and ebony synthetic amber base. Probably the strawberry juice is hidden in the praline note which links the top with the woody ambery dry down retaining a role of protagonist. What i love of this scent is the cold aura of punk and moody desolation that transmits outside, which in my opinion is not understated by the undeniable tad of projected freshness. A fragrance for me is above all atmosphere and individual sensations, this is often sufficient to reserve a thumps up to something un-natural and unrefined still too far to be considered a real masterpiece.
27th April, 2010 (last edited: 03rd January, 2014)

Fahrenheit 32 by Christian Dior

Another fahrenheit's flanker for us. The rather acceptable initial earthy, angular, aldehydic and densely dusty burst, conjuring a fruity-green cream veined (flavoured) by coconut and almond, slides soon in to a synthetic generic vanilla-amber base that is at same time cloying, aggressive/brash and lacking any trace of distinction. I appreciate the idea of blending vetiver and gourmand elements in a tasty mix but my senses feel that the green-earthy-hesperidic presence is too much evanescent in order to aim performing a masculine really distinguished elegance, yealding on the contrary too easily the scene to a generic gourmand mix neither ethereal nor chic or bold but just agreeable as an edible meal. In my opinion this fragrance is unbearable in summer season, i still remind a warm holiday in Brasil few years ago disturbed by the presence of this scent anyway on my side (a friend of mine was wearing that one in huge amount, providing constantly headache to me). Thank God the the holiday soon ended (I joke obviously).
26th April, 2010 (last edited: 10th April, 2014)

Habit Rouge by Guerlain

Let me to exaggerate with emphasis, please. Habit Rouge: baroque, risorgimental, decadent, contemporary spiritual and temporal, Royal and revolutionary, anyway a fragrance to be intended as an historical and epic romance full of love stories, travels, births and deads, wars and peaces. Each time i wear HR i start to figure on mind the Hermitage's interiors or the Royal Building's halls and i feel immediately surrounded by pictures, draperies, chandeliers, tapestries and by any sort of valuables. Years ago, when my olfactory religion was monotheistic, this scent has stood in solitude on my side for more than twelve years, lording over thousands of mediocre scents out there in the clubs or in the offices and following me with its sophisticated wake indiscriminably in more than forty different countries being those cold or warm, exotic or continental, poor or rich. HR used to be the king in each situation. Nowadays, being me a bit less romantic and more disenchanted, HR stands on my desk side by side with other eloquent masterpieces, ready to snap when necessary for a special occasion. When i smelt for first time HR was at London Heathrow wasting time at duty free and my starting reaction was pure shock, i smelt something so different from the green classic fougere, or from ozone-marine, something so evocative, opulent, so boldly and deliberately retro. I had the urge to purchase it. Passing time i started to understand this fragrance which, demanding respect and reverence, required time to be approached. The HR citrus and resinous opening leads the senses, through a woody-floral middle stage, towards a sumptuous powdery-vanilla-incensed-ambery base with a leathery detectable addition and full of many baroque nuances not proper to this vulgar world. HR is like a slightly smoked orange flavored whisky to be drunk while smoking a cuban cigar in front of fire. The Edt, better the vintage formula more hesperidic, earthy and baroque (i dislike the EDP quitely but love deeply the EDC for daily time use) is the fragrance of the Opera and theaters, is the fragrance of the tight and the tuxedo, the scent of the golden domes and arches. HR's man is the anti macho, but for this not less charismatic and unapologetic, he is intellectually bold, a womanizer gentleman. I will always reserve all my respect to this melancholic creation and to all those uninterested wearers going on along the HR's golden road regardless for the contemporary styles.
23rd April, 2010 (last edited: 23rd April, 2016)

Fahrenheit Absolute by Christian Dior

Fahrenheit Absolute is an unpleasant stuff in my opinion, a flanker lacking the loftiness of its notorious predecessor of which it misses the innovative trail. On the wake of the market's trend oriented to create sort of presumptive dark fragrances they’ve adulterated the revolutionary spirit of the previous item, losing back that gasolinic-petroleum slightly ozonic citric freshness which jumped out as the innovative soul of the original scent. The violet is still there, althought subdued, but the link between aoud, incense and myrrh is too heavy, decidedly cloying, almost oppressing with its suffocated brightness, it destroys the fresh and daring masculinity of the original one, just in order to create an unconceivable hybrid neither white nor black. Why don't to call this fragrance in a different way? I stand by the original one.
07th April, 2010 (last edited: 30th January, 2015)

Encre Noire by Lalique

A purified high quality vetiver in notable amount, imported from far oceanic islands, stands side by side with a cold and sinister continental cypress, both over a base of smoked/steamy musky woods. Any shade about something resinous, tasty or gourmand in this fragrance. This is simply a dry and obscure elegant vetiver hundred of miles far from the sunny, windy-ozonic The Different Company Sel de Vetiver, from all the dozens boisterous resinous/earthy vetivers around (Etro, Route du Vetiver, Athunis Sigilly, Mona di Orio etc etc) and from some historical spiced and tobacco smelling colonial vetivers a la Guerlain's classic one. Encre Noir is a metropolitan stuff, very contemporary, not evocative, as said industrial and nearly metallic. It's very clean and fresh. Appreciable and a bit melancholy. For dynamic, desolate spirits of the hurban hell.
31st March, 2010 (last edited: 02nd January, 2014)

Scent Intense by Costume National

Falling down the shadows this is a great, great solution. This fragrance is neither the best choice for a gala meeting or a convention nor is precisely specific for a first date with a beautiful creature. It works better in the previous phase, it's due to look for a date, to seize your unknown prey, to scout out a talented mate somewhere in a smoky downtown hellish venue. In order to catch these goals Scent Intense is truly unbeatable. Its unsettling aroma is a ghostly whiff of velvet, suede and smoky amber. Scent Intense, as said, is an avantgarde-luxurious-nocturnal-androgynous-enigmatic-dandy-pop-stylish fragrance which leans on the manly side in my opinion and is in each sense an absolutely irresistible attraction for a multitude of women all over the world. Never received so many compliments wearing a fragrance, I swear about, it overcomes all the others in the "greatest hits" perfumed parade. Scent Intense is a real magnet, a naughty potion wearing which the humble, the shy man becomes immediately a predator. This one is the perfect ultimate fragrance for clubbing in my humble opinion. Velvet underground and dark bacchanalian. Simply in its structure, as many have previously mentioned, Scent Intense is not certainly a masterpiece by the complex olfactory twists and balancements (in spite of its perfect balanced), it's not a mathematic equation of historical perfumery memory. This is nevertheless a worthy scent for its capacity to stimulate the senses, to attract people and not least due to a sort of resinous and dirty testosteronic undertone similar to a smell of arm pit's sweat (not a stinking arm pit, of course), that's because of the implementation of synthetic, ostensibly human-organic, pheromonal cystine in the cult formula. Scent Intense, thank to a "Vogue-fashion" Jasmine flower/hybiscus "acid" combo in the mix, arouses an irresistible wet chic floral aura (vaguely a la Chanel Allure but far far silkier, richer and more temperamental), a touch of glamour that converts this aroma out as a perfect weapon for clubs and battles in the obscure parties against relentless teen agers to tame. This Scent Intense's particular acid-metallic-dissonant floral/spicy undertone conjures me a similar feel projected by another scent which I love: Alexander McQueen Kingdom. It's comfortable and encouraging, very bold, an extraordinary fragrance that could be worn also by a fatal mysterious woman although I see it decidedly more suitable for men under the lens of a paparazzi camera. The jasmine-tea top note provides this ambery fragrance with a fresh crisp touch that understates and balances the otherwise usual, often boring, warm effect of the typical woody ambery concoctions. The "jasmine black tea" top is definitely the secret of Scent Intense; this tea is flavoured by some red berries that enhance the general dark atmosphere of the obscure aroma. In a second phase comes out the turn of a delicate and surreal Hibiscus which links the top with the "burnt-sugary" dry down increasing the general sophistication of the creation. This fruity-floral infusion floats, as a made of paper boat, on a sink of smoky, incensey, soapy leathery (silky suede more than leather) and woody amber (burnt sugar and dried fruits) in which the dark patchouli pushes endly the button over the masculine side like a sort of counterpart to jasmine and hibiscus. Finally, after many hours, the suede touch smells more than vaguely like a sort of expensive furry aroma. A pity for all (actually just a couple or few more) those "following reviewers" that didn't have the patience to wait the aroma's evolution or for those writing about "sugary amber" (Scent Intense is far more) or "wasps attraction" and senseless stuffs like those (actually not only the wasps appreciate this great fragrance engineered by that genius of the sadly departed Laurent Bruyere). Very good longevity and powerful projection for this cult classic scent, truly unrenounciable by all the predators of Madame Night.
30th March, 2010 (last edited: 25th February, 2018)

Romeo Gigli by Romeo Gigli

A masterpiece of originality and romanticism just conceived for nostalgic and decadent souls, this very complex and sophisticated fragrance conjures up left over images by now opaque in the memory as heavenly afternoons of the far youth spent in the gardens of some nobiliar italian house, running long the tracks of green labyrinths followed on the back by shouting children (exactly as you at time). I figure on mind young ladies in white laced dressed and midafternoon's snacks consumed in suits clothed under the shade of oaks. This fragrance conjures at me images of rooms by high ceilings equiped and adorned by tapestries, heralds, trompe d'oeils and valuable crockery, rooms whereof the air was enveloped by the aroma of sweets and cakes. Today those glorious buildings, once crowded and industrious, are in loneliness spoiling and while lurking outside the courts you can observe just an old moody guardian no willing to talk. The juice itself starts with an aromatic-balsamic very complex (vaguely candied) blast of bergamot, lavender, orange, verbena and conifers, than slides down, passing through a bunch of floral-deeply spicied middle notes, in to a puzzling tobacco, patchouli, sandalwood veined ambery-oriental base coloured by a solitary and tasty civet note. The lavender is tenacious since the beginning (providing a classic fougere initial aura) and detectable throughout. Romeo Gigli Uomo possesses a very remarcable longevity. It is a really original, romantic, creamy grassy, spicy and a bit baroque fragrance for solitary souls of the farms, a dreamy scent that manages you to plunge sometimes in a delicate world populated by disappeared things.
28th March, 2010 (last edited: 01st January, 2014)

Hypnotic Poison Eau de Toilette by Christian Dior

Let the hypnosis to the wizards, please. This woody-oriental, bitter-sweet blend of almond and coconut, very addictive for many young women all over the world, reminds me a bit Heliothope Etro (far, far better appointed and with a right level of sweetness) resulting nevertheless to my profane nose too much sweetly flavoured by vanilla, too much pretentiously glamour, too cloying, too exaggeratedly gourmand, be lacking that ethereal and mysterious delicacy towards which this kind of fragrances would have to aim in order to be valued appreciable. The caraway provides projection, a bit of dissonance, and dustiness. Being lacking boldness and naughtiness, not proper to gourmand fragrances in my opinion, being lacking of evocative power and failing, despite the jasmine sambac, the attempt to catch the train of glamour and chic, what is left for us is a bowl of coconutty sugar, a vanilla pudding or a stand of sweets standing in a popular religious mediterranean feast. To be worn sparingly because of its atomic projection. Not for my taste.
28th March, 2010 (last edited: 01st January, 2014)
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Enrico Coveri pour Homme by Enrico Coveri

Really close to Givenchy Xeryus and Borsalino by Borsalino, Enrico Coveri Pour Homme, namely an ambery-mossy alternative to the vintage Trussardi Uomo (although the Trussardi Uomo's darkness exuded by tobacco, dry spices and incense is in Coveri missed), once was, in the past years (80's italian rampant years) a respectable leathery, mossy, ambery fragrance epitome of masculine dynamism and elusive sensuality. A starting blast of green hesperidic lavender was followed by a woody progression ending down, never without a touch of melancholic flowers, in to a somewhat leathery and ambery mossy drydown that conjures me a lot the grey final Xeryus's impenetrable virility. Good longevity for this sober soul with a touch of romantic flowers and ozone. Uncompromisingly masculine.

P.S: There are also a lot of similarities with vintage Tsar (a lot of notes in common for these two really mossy/floral scents) but while the V&A's one tends finally more towards a green/aromatic and resinous sort of woodiness (vetiver, patchouli, pine resins, cedarwood) Enrico Coveri slides in conclusion towads a vaguely leathery (smooth and secretly rubbery) accord of ambergris, tonka and oakmoss. Anyway, is Xeryus (and I'd quote Borsalino as well) the fragrance that most of all seems to share something in common with Coveri (and viceversa of course).
27th March, 2010 (last edited: 04th December, 2016)