Perfume Reviews

Reviews by teardrop

Total Reviews: 665

Carthusia Uomo by Carthusia

This opens with citrus, an aquatic note, & sandalwood lightly spiced with cumin. It doesn't whack you over the head with that traditionally masculine aftershave vibe, instead it has an air of understated elegance about it. Over the first half-hour, a herbal accord comes into play, reading as lavender or rosemary to my nose, followed by a smooth white musk. The floral notes aren't obvious, but are there in the background rounding it out. Other reviewers mention raspberry & seaweed, but I don't get those at all. Four hours in, the base is warm & spicy with amber & patchouli, & just a trace of oakmoss. The projection is low to moderate, & it all fades around seven hours in.
This is rather too far on the masculine side for me to wear myself, but I can see it being very attractive on a classy, well-dressed man who doesn't need a loud, in-your-face fragrance to announce his presence.
02nd August, 2019

Fiori di Capri by Carthusia

Aldehydes in the opening give this a very vintage feel, but there's also a lot of white musk & perhaps some iris, giving a very smooth impression of "whiteness" here. This whiteness kind of sticks in the throat, as if I'd just attempted to eat a bar of soap. After a few minutes, a sweetish floral accord begins to take over. It's hard to pick out notes, but this doesn't read as carnation to me so much as tuberose & ylang ylang. Two hours in, it's a creamy-smooth white floral with a tropical touch of coconut lending it a beachy vibe. It lasts around six hours before fading.
Others have compared this to Givenchy's Ysatis, which sadly I have never smelled, so I can't comment on any similarities. I quite enjoyed the drydown, but that opening is not really to my taste.
02nd August, 2019

Gelsomini di Capri by Carthusia

In the initial phase I get ginger & pink pepper, laid over a light & fresh jasmine. The citrus notes aren't obvious, but this is a dabber vial, & they may come over more strongly when spraying. These notes are soon joined by soft woods & vanilla. Forty minutes in, it's already fading - "deflating like a balloon" as another reviewer aptly puts it - & a creamy note comes into play. One hour in it's a warm, creamy, lightly spiced floral that puts me in mind of Givenchy's Organza. From here it continues to fade, leaving just a trace seven hours in.
This is a pleasant floriental, but for me the performance is poor, & it's certainly not different or special enough to warrant the price of a bottle.
02nd August, 2019
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Mediterraneo by Carthusia

I can pretty much sum this one up in three words: fresh lemon tea. Over the first half-hour the lemon goes from fresh to candied to bitter & back again, but is never overly sharp or Pledge-like. An hour in, the lemon is joined by a tea note with a sprig of mint, but the lemon remains for the duration. It's quite soft at the six-hour mark, but there are still traces on my skin after ten hours.
The card that came with this sample lists a number of notes in addition to the lemon & green tea listed here on basenotes: wild mint, eucalyptus, litsea, red thyme, bergamot, jasmine, cardamom, wild flowers, tangerine & white musk. Aside from the mint & perhaps some bergamot, I don't get any of these here.
This is a perfectly refreshing pick-me-up for a hot day, but it's a very simple scent, & at this price point I'd expect something more interesting. I'd pick Tom Daxon's Laconia over this for my lemon fix.
02nd August, 2019

Fleur Narcotique by Ex Nihilo

This opens fresh, fruity, crisp & cologne-like with lychee, & a bergamot stripped of its usual bitter edges. A few minutes in, creamy orange blossom & white musk take over, & twelve hours later this hasn't changed. I continue to get wafts of a pleasantly clean & soapy floral for the duration. I'm not sure what peony smells like, so I can't say that I smell it here.
Darvant describes this one as "melancholy", but I don't get that at all. There's nothing "narcotic" about it, either. For me it conveys a feeling of cheerful innocence, & I can wear it at work without offending anyone. The performance is impressive, although some may find its lack of development boring, & for the price they're charging, it's rather unremarkable. I already have some orange blossom fragrances in my arsenal that I adore far more.
02nd August, 2019

I Am Trash : Les Fleurs du Déchet by Etat Libre d'Orange

In the opening I get cedar & tart fruit, more citrus than strawberry to my nose, followed in short order by a jammy rose. And suddenly it smells exactly like Black XS pour Homme circa 2006! A scent that sure brings back some memories for me. The same woody fruitchouli vibe is there, & on looking up "akigala wood" online, I find that it's fractionated from patchouli oil, which explains what I'm smelling. Within half an hour, the fruit fades, & a pepper note adds a more savoury nuance. Three hours in, it's all soft, smooth woods with a hint of apple, fading out completely at the six-hour mark.
This is by no means an unpleasant scent, & contrary to what the name implies, I don't get any rotten fruit or suggestion of decay from it. It's definitely nothing new or special though, even if it did take me back to a special time & a special person in my life...
27th June, 2019

Lace by Sarah Baker Perfumes

Contrary to what the name might suggest, this is not a "sexy night out" fragrance, but a soft, beachy skin scent with white musk, coconut, vanilla & calone. For the first hour, it comes over as rather thin & flat, with a kind of staleness, almost as if it's gone off. After this, however, it becomes warmer, sweeter, milkier, & more satisfying. At this point it puts me in mind of a quieter version of Ensoleille Moi by Andre Gas, one that I already own & love. Seven hours in, there's been no further development & it wears very close to the skin.
This one is ok to me, but cannot come close to rivalling Ensoleille Moi, which is a far superior version of the same idea.
27th June, 2019

Golden Paradise by Hawaiian Tropic

Out of the collection of fragrances in this line, this is supposed to be the closest to the signature scent of their sun protection products, a scent I've loved for many, many years. To begin with, I get pineapple, coconut & warm sand. Within five minutes, the fruity note fades & it's more of a milky coconut, with the supporting notes of musk, sandalwood & amber giving it some backbone. I don't detect the floral notes of jasmine & freesia at all. I applied some of the suntan lotion to my other arm for comparison, & find that where the lotion is more light & fruity, the fragrance mist has more of an oriental, ambery feel. One hour in, the similarities align more closely, but at this stage the fragrance is very soft. After three hours it's almost disappeared, but it can still be revived by breathing onto the skin where I applied it.
This doesn't score highly on performance - it is just a body spray, after all - but it's a cheap & cheerful mood lifter. I'd happily spray this with abandon whenever I wish to simulate the feeling of lying on the beach in the sun, when I can't be there for real, or to enhance the scent of a less exotic sun protection product. Either way, it's a fun, youthful fragrance that puts a smile on my face.
27th June, 2019

Jardin de Kérylos 16 by Parfumerie Generale

A cool, crisp & refreshing fig, much less creamy-lactonic than either Philosykos or Premier Figuier, but more leafy & woody, the fruit still unripe on the tree. It feels thinner & flatter to me because of this. I don't smell the peach, but perhaps some tuberose in the background after twenty minutes or so. Aside from that, I sense no progression at all, the projection is low, & after seven hours it's faded out altogether.
Maybe this one needs some real summer heat to make it bloom, but I have to confess that it left me a little cold. I don't hate it, but for me it doesn't come anywhere close to the glorious celebration of the fig that is Philosykos.
27th June, 2019

Eau de Nyonya by Auphorie

Toasted rice, coconut, a hint of chocolate, something green which must be the Pandan leaf, sweet violet & benzoin are the introduction to this gorgeous gourmand-oriental. It's deliciously edible without being overly sweet, with a fuzzy & suede-like texture. The violet becomes more pronounced over the first half-hour, & there's an almond/cherry/heliotrope facet suggesting distant echoes of vintage L'Heure Bleue. The texture smooths out from here, then ninety minutes in there's a buttery iris. Another hour in, I get a note of condensed milk, & at the four-hour mark there's a rich, creamy sandalwood. At this point it settles closer to the skin, but it all lasts for a good fourteen hours before fading out.
I've never been to the Far East, but this perfume smells exactly how I imagine sitting in a humid tropical garden eating a Malaysian dessert would smell. It's an extraordinarily complex assembly of notes that somehow work together, vintage-smelling yet modern & unique, exquisitely balanced & addictive. I can't really put it better than gimmegreen's beautifully descriptive review, but if you love a good gourmand with a grown-up feel, I urge you to try this before it's gone. Auphorie are known for discontinuing their fragrances before we all get a chance to try them; I know this to my cost, because I missed out on trying Mayura.
27th June, 2019

Morah by Pryn Parfum

In the opening I get aldehydes, underpinned by creamy, spicy woods & something animalic. The listed notes of black pepper, sandalwood & civet would account for this impression. Over the first hour, as the aldehydes fade, I get an ashy, leathery note suggestive of birch tar, which is not listed, followed by an accord very much like pencil savings, then cumin & oakmoss. The floral notes here are not obvious at all, except for a fleeting whiff of an incense-like champaca. The projection is low, & seven hours in it's faded to a very soft animalic base with just the ghost of a creamy white flower.
I find this to be a pleasant unisex fragrance that might work well for me in autumn. However I'm giving it a neutral rating, because the listed notes of tuberose, gardenia & frangipani led me to expect an exotic & rich tropical floral, a genre that I adore. It's far less feminine than that though, & the low projection is somewhat disappointing.
27th June, 2019

Aubépine-Acacia by Creed

This has a bright, lemony top note, effervescent like sherbet, underlaid with green notes of galbanum & pine. After fifteen minutes, this settles into a green floral accord, mainly mimosa, with lightly powdery & leathery facets. There are no sharp edges or bitterness here, & although the projection is very low from this point, it's a pretty & rather agreeable spring floral. Nine hours in there's been no further progression, but it's still humming along softly.
I'm very familiar with the scent of hawthorn, or May blossom, as a lot of it grows in my neighbourhood & the places I grew up in. It's one of my favourite springtime smells, earthy & almost fecal in its animalic richness, & I doubt I'll ever find a perfume that reproduces it convincingly. There is a suggestion of it in the heart phase of Aubepine-Acacia, & it's pretty darn close, but it doesn't quite capture that scent for me. This is actually a relief though, both for my wallet & my sanity.
19th June, 2019

Verveine Narcisse by Creed

The opening is sharp, aldehydic & green, with galbanum & an impression of lily of the valley. I don't get verbena here so much as violet leaf, although there is a grassy note a few minutes in. A little later the narcissus comes through, with the emphasis on its aspects of leather & rain-soaked garden, rather than actual flowers. After the first hour, the base of moss & salty ambergris takes over, & at this point it settles very close to the skin. In the later drydown, there's a soapy sandalwood, followed by an incense-like note. It's still going softly fourteen hours in.
I expected something quite sunny & bright here, but this comes over as a rather serious & astringent perfume. It's not my kind of fragrance, but surely a great one if you love serious, green leathery florals.
19th June, 2019
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Bayrhum-Vetiver by Creed

I looked up some info on traditional bayrum fragrances, & apparently they are made using the West Indian Pimenta racemosa, a species unrelated to the bay laurel, Laurus nobilis. I am familiar with bay laurel as I have one in my garden, & the opening of this fragrance smells exactly like the pungent, herbal scent given off by the cut leaves when I prune it. Either these unrelated species do in fact smell similar, or this fragrance actually utilises bay laurel, & not the West Indian variety. No matter though, because this impression is swiftly overwhelmed by a strong note of cloves, which continues to dominate for the next couple of hours. There's also something earthy, almost animalic in the mix, suggesting moss rather than vetiver. Once the cloves fade there's a soapy phase, & then finally four hours in I get a softly metallic vetiver in the base. Six hours in, it's still going as a skin scent.
This one is not for me, & I didn't expect it to be, as none of the notes are ones I enjoy smelling on my skin. But if you enjoy very traditional-style, mature masculine fragrances, it may very well be for you.
19th June, 2019

"Vintage" Tabaróme by Creed

I get just a hint of that "turned vintage masculine" vibe in the opening, before it's overwhelmed by what I'd swear is aldehydes. It's soapy, powdery, clean-smelling, dry & kind of "white" in tone. Ten minutes in, it all settles into smoky, peppery woods with a faint touch of bergamot. Sniffing up close, there's something vaguely mentholated, then half an hour late there's leather. Ninety minutes in, it all sweetens slightly, & at the same time there's a crisp, papyrus-like note running through it. After three hours, there's salty ambergris & moss, & later a metallic twang, which could be vetiver. There is a vaguely gingery note here too, if I search for it, but at this point it's become a skin scent. It's still going softly seven hours in.
I don't get tobacco here at all, & this isn't something I would wear, but I appreciate having had the chance to try it.
19th June, 2019

Tabac Vert by Rogue Perfumery

This has a very "vintage masculine" & slightly "turned" feel. The opening is dominated by bergamot, followed by pepper & cedar, laid over a syrupy amber & giving rise to an immortelle-like note, although it isn't listed. Something petrochemical swiftly emerges, a little like turpentine. One hour in, all of these notes have faded, & a pronounced mossy note emerges, along with labdanum or ambergris. It all turns powdery at this point, & after two hours settles very close to the skin. I get just a trace of soapy sandalwood eight hours in as the fragrance fades out, but strangely, no tobacco at any point!
This has been compared to Creed's Vintage Tabarome, but although the two share some aspects, they don't smell all that similar to me. Thought of in terms of colour, this one is a yellowy green, whereas VT is more of a golden brown. What they do have in common, however, is a total absence of tobacco, at least on my skin. My preferred choice between the two would be VT, as the feel of this one is rather sombre, & it's definitely not my style.
19th June, 2019

Le Canotier by Rogue Perfumery

This opens with bitter citrus, & green notes of violet leaf & vetiver. I also get a smidge of a "turned" note, but not for long. The first hour is dominated for me by the vetiver, a note I don't enjoy in heavy concentrations, & reads to me as decidedly masculine. After this, the citrus fades away & the vetiver takes a smokier turn, before being joined by tobacco & a pronounced ambergris note. I don't get any florals here, but two hours into the drydown the smoke & salty ambergris combine to make things more enjoyable. Later on there's a metallic tang, & seven hours in, a faint sweetness just as it all fades out. The projection is good for most of its duration.
This one is not for me, but I think anyone who loves a smoky vetiver should try it.
19th June, 2019

Mousse Illuminee by Rogue Perfumery

This opens deep & green, with a mentholated freshness & herbal notes of rosemary & bay. Any white florals are blended deeply into the mix, but perhaps there's some jasmine here. I get a whole succession of other notes, though: wormwood, mint, leather, & a suggestion of pine without it smelling like a pine tree. There's a bitterness at this stage, but it's never harsh or unpleasant. After two hours, warm, peppery woods & a gorgeously smoky incense appear, followed by an earthy, loamy note, "like a forest floor" as others have described it. There's something akin to vetiver, & then tobacco. Seven hours in, the base is sweet tobacco smoke, woods, a clean, powdery musk & something fruity. The projection is powerful for the first couple of hours, & it's still humming along nicely after fourteen hours.
This doesn't actually smell like moss to me, & it definitely doesn't smell like weed. I've never smelled Polo Green so cannot make the comparison that others have, but there are echoes here of Memoir Man, perhaps because of the combination of wormwood & incense. Sheik Yerbouti's review describes the feeling of this one very well. It's not my usual style & I don't know when I'd ever wear it, but I find it completely compelling. It's beautifully constructed, complex, natural smelling & has great performance to boot. It's been a while since I smelled a perfume with so many notes, put together so skilfully that each one shone out without mixing themselves into a muddy mess. In short, it's a stunning example of the perfumer's art.
19th June, 2019

Fougère L'Aube by Rogue Perfumery

This smells to me like a very traditional "masculine fougere", with a fresh, almost sharp opening of green citrus, galbanum & mint. It's clean, green & soapy, as others have noted. It's very radiant on my skin for the first couple of hours, then the citrus recedes a little & I get a herbal, leathery feel before the lavender comes through. I don't get rose or costus from this at all. Later on it warms up with a base of moss & spice, & six hours in as it's faded close to the skin, I could swear I smell coconut. The citrus is still detectable though, & it retains the element of freshness all the way through. There are still traces of this on my skin sixteen hours after application.
I've never smelled Green Irish Tweed, therefore I cannot make a comparison here as others have, but this one does remind me a little of Cacharel pour L'Homme, which my ex-husband wore back in the nineties. For that reason it's not something I could wear, but I think it is very well done, & lacks the harshness that many in this genre seem to convey. Nice work.
19th June, 2019

Chypre-Siam by Rogue Perfumery

I'm not generally a chypre lover & certainly not an expert, but this is exactly the kind of fragrance I think of when considering the classic vintage chypre style, & without the "turned" feel that I get from many of them. There's a juicy twist of lime up top, underpinned with a bittersweet blend dominated by oakmoss. There's a green spiciness & an almost leathery feel here, along with those creosote-like violet ionones. Inhaling it deeply from my arm adds a smooth sweetness to the mix, & as it develops I pick up on a note of apple, a "bready" note, something balsamic, & then an ambery base with a touch of apricot. The projection is moderate, slowly fading until five hours in it seems to disappear entirely.
This is very similar to the Body Shop Chypre oil which I owned in the eighties, & of which I still have a tiny decant. It's not really my current style but I think it's extremely well done, & surely a must-try for those who hanker after those non-IFRA compliant vintage chypres. And it's another that probably needs to be sprayed to improve the performance.
19th June, 2019

Derviche by Rogue Perfumery

For me this is primarily a sweet tobacco scent, very reminiscent of Dusita's Issara, with its sheer, fresh yet earthy, hay-like sweetness. There's a minty note up top, which, combined with the animalic notes of musk & civet beneath, reminds me of the construction of Kouros, being both fresh & dirty at the same time, although the overall scent is quite different. I get a touch of leather, & then the vanilla sweetness begins to build, until two hours in the tobacco has faded & the base is powdery amber with a hint of heliotrope. The projection is low on me, from the three hour mark it's very soft indeed, & five hours in it's pretty much gone.
I don't detect any floral notes here, & while there is a passing resemblance to Ambre Narguile, this one isn't quite as gourmand to my nose. It is my kind of oriental though, & definitely my favourite from this house, although I'd prefer greater projection & longevity. I think perhaps spraying would show it off to fuller advantage, but as I tried it as part of a sample pass, I didn't want to risk using up too much of the little dabber vial.
19th June, 2019

Champs Lunaires by Rogue Perfumery

For me the opening is strongly jasmine, not tuberose, accompanied for the first few minutes by a citrus note, & a greenish gardenia. Sniffed up close, there's a strangely sour, musty aspect to this which I find rather off-putting. The projection is powerful for the first ninety minutes, & then the mustiness finally fades leaving a creamy gardenia. From here the whole thing slowly softens, still drying down after ten hours. The sandalwood base is very faint, & there's a trace of coconut, although I don't find this to be a beachy fragrance.
Others have compared this to Fracas, but to my nose Fracas is much more buttery, & dominated by tuberose & orange blossom. The heart phase of this one does remind me of Estee Lauder's Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, dominated as it is by a very similar gardenia note. In fact, Champs Lunaires smells how PCTG would if it had been left out in bright sunlight for a few weeks. PCTG is rounder, smoother, more modern somehow, whereas CL has this musty, "turned" aspect that gives it more of a vintage feel. It's a rather serious fragrance, & although I enjoyed the gardenia once the mustiness faded away, that "turned" aspect is a deal breaker for me.
19th June, 2019

Mutiny by Martin Margiela

This opens with a juicy citrus accord, resolving itself into bitter orange, before creamy orange blossom & a fruity tuberose come through in full force. Later I get a coconutty amber in the base, but not the listed oud or vanilla. The projection is good, & it all lasts around eight hours before fading.

I find nothing "mutinous" about this, except that some may find it a little cloying or "perfumey". I'm giving it a thumbs up because it has a lot of notes that I personally enjoy, but I much prefer Ropion's other creation, And the World is Yours, for my orange blossom fix. It's more radiant without being cloying, & doesn't have the overly sweet & fruity aspect that this has.
24th April, 2019

Laconia by Tom Daxon

For anyone who doesn't know, Laconia is a peninsula of the Peloponnese in southern Greece, & it's also the origin of the word "laconic". It's a place where I've spent a bit of time, being right next to the Mani peninsula, which I consider to be my second home. There was no question that I had to try this fragrance!
It opens with a bright & sunny burst of citrus, mostly lemon, & there's a cool, leafy quality beneath, perhaps from the water mint or violet leaf notes. It's zesty, but not sharp or bracing, & there's a salty element here, but it's not the calone type of marine scent. It's actually very natural-smelling, as if I just rubbed lemon juice & sea salt into my skin. Over the first half-hour, the citrus recedes slightly but remains present, along with a whisper of jasmine, then vetiver. Two hours in, green cardamom warms it up, & from here there's a growing undercurrent of earthy, mossy, sun-warmed soil & sage brush. The projection is strong for the first few minutes, & remains moderate to good for most of its duration. Six hours in, the freshness of the opening phase is only just fading, & it all becomes a skin scent after eight hours.
This one is easily unisex, with a similar feel to Goutal's Eau du Sud. I shall enjoy using up this sample when summer arrives.
24th April, 2019

Greek Keys by Sarah Baker Perfumes

This opens as a bracing citrus, with grapefruit, lemon & mandarin clearly discernible, a hint of floral hedione, & a whole heap of calone to give it that ocean breeze vibe. Herbal notes of rosemary & elemi appear, & one hour in the citrus fades, leaving that fresh, salty, almost sharp ocean breeze scented with herbs. After two hours it loses the sharpness, & the vetiver & mossy woods show through. Six hours in, there's coumarin in the base to complete the fougere-like picture. The projection is enormous, it lasts through a shower, & there are still traces of this on my skin after twenty four hours.
This is bright, sunny & refreshing, much like a Greek shoreline, & it reminds me somewhat of Tommy Bahama's Set Sail St Barts for Women. It's most definitely unisex, possibly a little too far to the masculine side for me, but I think it would cut through heat & humidity perfectly. I'll try it again in the summer to see how I feel about it then.
24th April, 2019

Spring Jasmine by Shanghai Tang

This opens as a greenish jasmine with a touch of indole, along with a strong impression of what I perceive as lily of the valley. The projection is good, much better than most of the others in this line, until it all calms down & smooths out around two hours in. I don't sense much progression here, & I don't get the listed olibanum note at all. Four hours in it settles close to the skin, finally fading out after around ten hours.
To be honest this is nothing special, but it does what it says on the tin, & I can see myself enjoying it at work without offending anyone.
24th April, 2019

Rose Silk by Unknown

The opening smells only vaguely of rose, with a hint of red berries & a smooth white floral accord, supposedly magnolia. The "magnolia" quickly becomes dominant, drying down to laundry musk only two hours in, & after five hours it's barely there.
This one is the quietest that I tried from this line, & can best be described as flat, featureless & dull.
24th April, 2019

Orchid Bloom by Shanghai Tang

The top notes are listed as "red fruits", but I get a tart blackcurrant, with a sharpness that puts me in mind of those cheap men's sport scents from the seventies. This projects strongly (how typical for a note I detest!) for the first couple of hours, & then the fruit calms down, allowing the floral aspect to show itself. I don't know what a "velvet orchid" smells like, so I can't say how closely this resembles the real thing, but it comes over as a rather ordinary white flower accord. Four hours in it's much softer, & there's a laundry-type musk in the base, still going after fourteen hours.
This gets a thumbs down from me, not only because I dislike fruity florals, but also because it reeks of cheap synthetics poorly blended. Not recommended.
24th April, 2019

Gold Lily by Shanghai Tang

This opens with creamy lily, jasmine & a touch of spice. Something about this accord comes over as rather cloying, & I sense that in large doses it could be headache-inducing for some. Thankfully this effect dies down after five to ten minutes, leaving just the creamy lily along with a rubbery note. I've smelled this rubbery note before in the body cream version of Goutal's Un Matin d'Orage, & assumed it was due to the plastic packaging leaching chemicals into the contents - I believe it was fairly old product. But perhaps this rubberiness is a side effect of whatever materials were used to create the white floral notes here. Three hours in, the rubbery effect has faded, leaving the now very soft, yet crisp lily note, which continues to fade until eleven hours in it's almost gone.
This is not a love for me, in fact I don't think I even like it enough to wear for work. I'll stick to Donna Karan Gold for my lily fix, thanks.
24th April, 2019

Oriental Pearl by Shanghai Tang

All of the classic oriental notes of amber, benzoin, labdanum & patchouli are here. The amber is sweet but not gooey or dense, while the patchouli adds a slightly medicinal edge along with woods & a touch of smoke. It's a linear perfume with good projection for the first four hours or so, after which it settles quite close to the skin, fading out after around ten hours.
There's nothing groundbreaking here, but as a lover of ambery orientals, this is just the kind of warming & comforting scent that I enjoy on cold, wet days.
24th April, 2019