Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Dane

Total Reviews: 85

Angel Etoile des Rêves by Thierry Mugler

This starts off very similar to the Angel of yore. It's more muted though, and the drydown is softer and less affecting. Consider it more of an Angel bodyspray.

I happen to love it. It's chocolatey and cozy and perfect to keep on your nightstand. That may seem like I've bought into Mugler's "Rêves" marketing - but honestly, this time they got it right.

Also - the bottle is beautiful, the bulb-sprayer is a bit tricky to use, but the nostalgia and old-hollywood feel make up for that. Thumbs up.
28th October, 2018

Alien by Thierry Mugler


I've been trying to like Alien for some time now. I feel like Mugler outs so much effort into it, there must be something I'm missing. Alas, it seems to have been watered down over the years and is more banal than ever before. There's some jasmine, some woodiness, and...that's it.

I know it's no longer available, but but Miroir des Envies take the same concept of jasmine, toasted notes, woods, and "solar notes", but does it on an immensely more interesting scale. Since that's no longer made, the next best thing is Alien Essence Absolute, which leans more toward the warmer, vanilla tones.

Not terrible, but compared to Angel (of yore at least), and the most recent addition, Aura (who did "safe" right), Alien is a let-down.

If you want to emit the idea that you're wearing a fragrance, without any notion of which one, Alien is a safe buy. But you can do so much better.
13th October, 2018

Womanity Eau pour Elles by Thierry Mugler

I smell no strawberry. The caviar note in this is very buttery - the fig is toned down. It's a strange variation on the original, which was already strange.

Edit - after retesting the Fig Chutney version of Womanity, I have to admit this is far more wearable, if not a tad less interesting. Having said that, I quite like it.
10th September, 2018 (last edited: 29th September, 2018)
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Aura Eau de Toilette by Thierry Mugler

If you like pear, or at least the typical pear-flavoured candy, you'll like this. It still smells essentially like Aura EDP, but the pear prevails. I love pear, I love Aura, so I love this. Great for layering too.
10th September, 2018

Angel: Le Gôut du Parfum - Sublimée de Poudre de Cacao Amer / The Taste of Fragrance - Magnified with Bitter Cocoa Powder by Thierry Mugler

I didn't think it possible to top the original Angel. What this flanker has done is play with proportions, and ended being an obvious child of the original, but with its own brilliance.

Dry cocoa, red fruits, and a toned-down patchouli would be an apt description.

I've only been able to find one source of the perfumer claiming it's Aurelien Guichard. I can't vouch for this, but something this brilliant came from a talented mind, so it wouldn't surprise me if the information is accurate. He is also the author of Angel Aqua Chic, released one year later.
10th August, 2018 (last edited: 13th August, 2018)

Club Design by The Zoo

Novel idea, hindered by the fact that it badly needs dilution. Otherwise a lovely honeyed leather accord. The drydown (that never goes away) smells like straight-up coumarin. Not terrible, but also not wearable.
02nd August, 2018

Emporio Armani Because It's You by Giorgio Armani

Fruity floral. Tart and juicy berries over a standard rose. Easy breezy.
24th July, 2018 (last edited: 23rd July, 2018)

Bohemian Soul by Une Nuit Nomade

A lovely chocolate topnote, followed by a quiet accord of incense and gauaic wood.

It seems as though Menardo split up Le Labo's Patchouli 24. The woody sweetness is placed here, while the smokey, rubbery aspect can be found in Memory Motel.
23rd July, 2018

Rose America by Une Nuit Nomade

I find this revolting. Basically, instead of getting a salty rose, I can't escape the image of celery salt. There's a lovely rose buried in here, but the "novel" saline element ruins everything.
23rd July, 2018

Dune by Christian Dior

This is probably my favourite perfume of all time, and that says a lot if you've seen how much time I spend testing (and retesting, then buying, then selling, then rebuying, etc.)

Dune may intend to conjure up sandy mounds and ocean air blowing over a garden of herbs, but in reality it's a transparent oriental with immeasurable radiance.

Starting with a splash of citrus and greenery (stemone), you may feel like an herbal-fougere accord is oncoming with a hint of lavender, but instead, you get a musky (galaxolide), chocolate-floral with the sheen of jasmine (hedione.)

The drydown, which really is what Dune is all about, is peppered with patchouli, sandalwood, and vanilla. If your bottle is old enough, you may even get some of those notes composed with natural materials. What makes all of these notes meld together, though, is a huge slug of orris, which adds a dry, austere feeling and lightens the weight of these heavy materials.

A genius, outstandingly original masterpiece. Dark, pensive, and something I could never live without.

Note - the EDT is my favourite, showcasing more of a diverse note list. The extrait is more dense and focused on the drydown. The alcohol-free summer spray is an unpleasant concoction with only minor nod to the real thing. I've not yet tried the esprrit de parfum. At the time of release, Dune had a ton of promo items like broaches, earrings, bracelets and the lot. You'll come across them at high prices, but I assure you, they are not fine jewelry and shouldn't be purchased as such.
14th July, 2018

Anthracite by Jacomo

A well-composed hyacinth. I happen to hate that sort of thing, so I can't rightfully give it a thumbs-up....but if that's you're cup of tea, it's typically I expensive and worth trying.
14th July, 2018

Armani Privé Ambre Soie by Giorgio Armani

This is basically the perfume version of Glosette Raisins, and is genius because of it. Somehow the perfumer worked a magical trick of using the heaviest of materials, but making them light as a feather.

Not your average amber - more of an intelectual amber from the imagination of someone who thinks outside the box. If you want the tradition amber, MPG and Lutens have you covered. If you want an over-achiever, Ambre Russe is great. Ambre Soie, on the other hand, is more than an amber, it's a transparent, anise-infused oriental with dark chocolate patchouli and fruity resins.

A genius work, and something I willingly paid full price for. No regrets. Sadly discontinued, so grab it when you see it.
14th July, 2018

Angel Muse Eau de Toilette by Thierry Mugler

Passionfruit Angel. More in line with an actual Angel flanker, rather than the child of the bizarre Angel Muse.

Not terribly exciting, but not bad. I happen to love passionfruit, and love Angel, so I like it. That being said, the only thing it adds to the original is that the volume is turned down to a wearable level.

Update - once again, I put my foot in my mouth, and have fallen head-over-heels for Muse EDT. I stand by my previous statements, but it's exactly what I was looking for in the end - a wearable angel. It's bright, juicy, and wonderful.
13th July, 2018 (last edited: 07th August, 2018)
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Aura by Thierry Mugler

I've gone back and forth on this a few times. One day it's love, the next it's not.

Overall though, it keeps drawing me back in. The bizarre green lifesaver/menthol opening is just enough to keep me going back. It's just SO weird. Following that, it morphs into a nicely panel-tested vanilla oriental, with a few tropical florals thrown in. The green candy creeps back in now and then, which keeps it above the boring spectrum. As does the weird wintergreen. Not a mint I typically love, but it's at a hazy, inoffensive volume at this point.

All-in-all, I'll probably shell out for a small bottle. For Mugler, it's easy to wear. The volume doesn't get crazy, the bottle is beautiful, and it's a novel accord I've not encountered before.

Update - bought a bottle (at retail!) and it's love. It's very wearable, yet weird enough to not get boring. I imagine it won't get many good reviews, as it's not "Mugler-weird". Angel typecast Mugler into a niche and it won't be topped. Beautiful, but requires patience.
13th July, 2018 (last edited: 22nd July, 2018)

Angel Muse by Thierry Mugler

Well this threw me for a loop. When I read they threw in some Nutella to the Angel formula, I expected just that - Angel (fruit + chocolate-patchouli) but with the gourmande accord incorporating some hazelnut. I was wrong. Eazy-peezy.

After a strange green citrus opening - I get a bizarre chocolate-fougere. I happen to loathe the fougere accord after it's been used and abused by every masculine under the sun, so I find this very unappealing. Add in an undercurrent of the Angel-family-accord, and you end up with quite the little mess.

Still - it didn't bore me, so one thumb up for that. But not for me.
13th July, 2018

Twilly d'Hermès by Hermès

Firstly - I adore Christine Nagel creations. That being said, I feel like Jean Claude Ellena started with a draft of this idea (see TDC's Bergamote). The gingery-bergamot opening is stunning, zingy, and fully of character. It fits in perfectly within Hermes' range of lightweight EDTs under Ellena's reign.

After the zing fades, the tuberose moves into focus and avoids the typical tube' creaminess and lush opulence.

A citrus tuberose? How? I have no idea, but it works and I love it.

Note - totally different on skin than a blotter. I had dismissed this before Turin pointed out its genius.

Also - love the out-of-proportion Charlie Chaplin bottle.
30th June, 2018

Aura for Women by Jacomo

The opening is the most interesting part - a minty-fruity note. After that, it turns into what I can only describe as "having a smell." A basic, nothingness. Not terrible, inoffensive, but bland.
30th June, 2018

Eau de Citron Noir by Hermès

Lazy and unnecessary.

The topnotes are nice - but what topnotes aren't nice in a citrus scent?

Once the lemon fades - in comes the synthetic woody amber that's so strong it could turn a regular dog into a werewolf.
07th May, 2018

Aqua Allegoria Passiflora by Guerlain

Meh. Starts off with a tart grapefruit, moving into a relatively successful passionfruit accord. Avoids the typical over-sweetness you'd find in a fruity-floral, but unfortunately heads in the "fresh" direction in the drydown. Not bad, but not my thing personally.
20th April, 2018

J'Adore inJoy by Christian Dior

Run-of-the-mill fruity floral, with more citrus than most. The salt accord sounds like it would have been interesting, but it's just a marketing ploy to make it stand out. Not bad though.
06th April, 2018

Vol de Nuit Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

There's nothing bad that can be said about Vol de Nuit. It is perfection, bottled.

For those complaining about longevity and the lack of an EDP on the shelves - get the extrait.
22nd March, 2018

Noël au Balcon by Etat Libre d'Orange

Christmas Balcony. Mildly nauseating opening of honeyed mulled wine. Dries down to a (still-honeyed) rift on Jasmin & Cigarettes. Not bad.
13th February, 2018

Je Suis Un Homme by Etat Libre d'Orange

This is a terrific "classic" aromatic woody thing with the nicest bergamot opening outside of Guerlain's offerings. That being said, for $20 you can get a jug of Z14 or Zino.
13th February, 2018

Delicious Closet Queen by Etat Libre d'Orange

I find this revolting. If you want to smell like a teenage boy, just buy some Axe.
13th February, 2018

Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

Yes, it's gross and smell like wet dog - but wearability was never the intention. Can perfume be art?

This is essentially a lovely, salty floral with a delicious woody-coconut drydown.

That's of course fully masked by the metallic "secretions", but otherwise this would have been a smelled-it-before composition that wouldn't have gained Etat Libre's naughty boy image.

For the sake of art, I plan on keeping a reference sample. Although I hope in my heart that it never disappears off the shelf.
04th February, 2018

You Or Someone Like You by Etat Libre d'Orange

I adore this. I'm not usually a fan of mint, but this has a subtlety that makes it obvious, but not toothpaste-y. I agree with references to Herbal Fresca, but this is nicer, and closer to the discontinued and missed (by me) Comme des Garcons Mint (from the Green line).

I can't really pick out supporting notes - no doubt some citrus, some florals, etc. What I can say that something in here makes it last FOREVER. Unexpected in this genre. Thumbs up!
25th January, 2018

Dangerous Complicity by Etat Libre d'Orange

If there was one word to describe this, it would be "vague." It has some boozy elements, some fruity, some floral, but nothing really jumps out at you. It reminds me of Badgley Mischka, but less intense and more wearable. Basically another fruity-floral-patchouli, but nicer than most.

Nothing fascinating, but sometimes it's nice to just smell good, which this does.
21st January, 2018

Encens & Bubblegum by Etat Libre d'Orange

A brilliant accord of bubblegum (fruit/plastic) with a dark resin hiding beneath. I wish the incense was more intense, because it can easily be overlooked, but only a minor complaint.

Dusty, pink, and good fun.
03rd January, 2018

Eau de Protection / Rossy de Palma by Etat Libre d'Orange

Just when you think you've smelled every variation of rose, this comes along - a brilliant, blood red rose. The perfumer used a clever mix of dark notes to make the rose note ooze sultriness. Naughty and genius.
30th December, 2017

Gabrielle by Chanel

Another fruity-floral. Derivative, basic, fancy-shampoo smell. That being said, it's not terrible - the floral elements are "blended" so as to not smell of one particular flower - the fruits are not cheap or tropical.

Nice bottle, albeit a bit lighter and without the usual magnetic cap we see on most new releases.

Probably a good gift for someone you've never met.
11th September, 2017