Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Castrensis

Total Reviews: 19

Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

Typically I'd rate a fragrance that smells this bad thumbs down, but I knew what I was getting into before I sniffed. This smells remarkably realistic & it's effing awful. I'm not usually effected by malodorous things but this has it's hooks in my gag reflex. I could only sniff this on a blotter. I repeatedly uncapped the vial to give a swipe to my arm only to quickly recap it as the bile rose.

I solicited the opinion of the dog. He sniffed the blotter & looked up at me without withdrawing.

I sprung it on my dad. I told him that what he was about to smell was foul, he braced himself, took a short inhalation then kicked himself to the other side of the room in his wheeled office chair while yelling, "Smells like a motherf****ing WHORE, dude!"

After several dozen good sniffs of the blotter (each with it's very own gag) I can find nothing beautiful in this fragrance & I suspect that's meant to be. MS is blood & jizz & turned milk splashed across a light floral. An unwearable, putrescent, ballsy composition.
12th March, 2011

Aoud Lime by Montale

A distinctly phased challenging composition that opens with a paroxysm mollified by herbs & flowers, roused with exotic spice & ultimately palliated by precious woods.

Aoud Lime starts upon a discordant pairing of bright acidic effervesence with an eucalyptoid oud that disquiets & invigorates. In minutes what once gave the impression of citrus now smells of rose while preserving the flourescence of lime. Saffron warms the mentholated opening & spices the rose, patchouli is present but restrained. Byakudan sandalwood lies beneath these elements & persists long after they're gone.
19th February, 2011

Private Collection - Querelle by Parfumerie Generale

Classically masculine, very 80s. Utterly conventional & ultimately uninteresting. Starts with the brightness of mandarin, moves to a hot cinammon & dry myrrh, earthy vetiver & dirty oakmoss. The cinammon decrescendos & you're left with myrrh & bitter vetiver roots on the forest floor. Smells like any number of drugstore aftershaves.
19th February, 2011
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Private Collection - L'Ombre Fauve by Parfumerie Generale

Like its name, Bestial Shadow, this is both animalic & indistinct. As mentioned previously this has a realistic fur-like texture & the beast has ventured close enough to cast its shadow upon the wearer. An animal pelt thrown over a censer, it glows with amber & suffuses with incense. Its patchouli & musk envelope & subdue but never in excess. L'Ombre Fauve is a primordial puissant presence treading the line between fear & arousal, abated breath & pupillary dilation the fruits of its effulgence.
17th February, 2011

Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier


Lavender vanilla powder-bomb. Synthetic sickly sweet scrubber. Nausea & migraine inducing nightmare. This is a terrorist device, not a perfume.
16th February, 2011 (last edited: 20th February, 2011)

Oud Wood by Tom Ford

This is M7 lite. Equally offensive to my nose, but somehow ends up smelling like berries rather than cherries. Horrifying what this stuff costs.
16th February, 2011

M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

A mentholated cherry lozenge nestled in a bed of vetiver inside a cedar box. Vile.
16th February, 2011

Tilda Swinton Like This by Etat Libre d'Orange

In a word: Nebulous. Sol et Terra. It illuminates without form.

This opens with a citrus-sweetened freshly-shaved ginger & an impression of a freshly breeched pumpkin. A current of waxy iris identical to that found in L'Heure Bleue rises beyond this opening chord while grassy vetiver & a smell like caramelized sugar sans the sweetness forms a counterpoint & ground the brightness & severity of the opening without provoking tension. As the brightness of the opening fades, a lightly floral luminescence & translucent musk mingles with the grassy (not earthy) vetiver & smoky sugar to emit a rooted radiance.
16th February, 2011

L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

As Pamplemousse said, this opens with overwhelmingly sweet sugared candied violets. As this dries down the violets age & crumble into floral dust expelled by a sigh from an incorruptible's wax mouth carried upon drafts to settle on a dessicated vanilla bean.
16th February, 2011

Arsène Lupin Dandy by Guerlain

Initial impression was that this reminds me of Halston Z-14, largely because it was my father's signature fragrance growing up & this evokes the masculine greats of the 80s-- but that is where the similarity ends. Initially boldly citrus, as this develops a violet/leather accord take precedence poured over a sandalwood base with the olibanum, patchouli & cinammon singing backup. The lightly lemony olibanum contrasts well with the earthy patchouli & spicy cinnamon. The labdanum gives a slight amber/mossy/vanillic vibe that adds depth & complexity without weighing the fragrance down, smoothing & adding a creaminess to the composition.

A spectacular & definitively modern take on a classic formula. This is moving straight to my wishlist.
12th February, 2011

Arsène Lupin Voyou by Guerlain

This starts with an herbal-citrus blast that quickly dries down into a rather unremarkable melange of dry woods & sweet notes. The sandalwood is pleasant & persistent upon a benzoin/amber/vanila/patchouli accord touched with rosy notes. Enjoyable, translucent, & warm but Voyou has neither the novelty nor the aesthetic to justify its price tag.
12th February, 2011

Black by Bulgari

The "rubber" note doesn't smell so much like rubber as it smells like a leather/vanilla accord that gives a rubbery vibe. Linear scent with lightly powdered musk & smoke.

Interesting, but underwhelming.
08th February, 2011

Royal English Leather by Creed

A luxury leather toilet seat in a port-a-john.
08th February, 2011
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Black Aoud by Montale

An apothecary, a swarthy man, steps from the back room in dark finery. He holds a precious essence in a small phial labeled with something in arabic, inscribed in patchouli-rich indian ink. The pungent panacea contained therein precedes a waft of roses from the back garden. The medicine is corked & fades from the forefront, but remains present on the stained hands of the apothecary scenting the musk of his sweat. Herbs & dust litter the floor & the same breeze that carried the opulent rose brings a glimmer of citrus from the bazaar outside.
31st January, 2011

Donna Karan Essence: Wenge by Donna Karan

I swear something must be wrong with my nose because I get none of the labdanum, musk or amber other reviewers mention. After multiple assessments all I smell are slightly sweet cedar chips. Like a guinea pig lifted from its cage after eating a sugar cube.
31st January, 2011

Black Orchid by Tom Ford

This is the smell of funereal flowers covering up the smell of grandpa's corpse in the parlor.
25th January, 2011

La Nuit de L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

Spicy, sickly sweet, synthetic scent.

Bottom line: makes me nauseous. Scrubbed it off with activated charcoal soap but it was so tenacious I had to liberally smear my arm with Arm & Hammer deodorant to mute its overbearing fortissimo.
18th January, 2011

Silver Mountain Water by Creed

To my mind this perfume accurately simulates the experience of cold mountain air, so refreshing you want to take great breaths of it drawn slowly through the nose but the "astringent" quality, as noted by MOONB, converges with the metallic note to create what I can only describe as a "tingle" that approximates the sharpness of the cold. The brilliantly white opening gives the impression of sunlight reflected in a multitude of brightly shining points from a snow-covered plain & turbulent melt water. SMW quickly dried down into something softer & pale blue-green with its sillage quietly burbling. The base is lightly musky & oceanic in character giving me an ambergris vibe. Delightful.

Eminently wearable, inoffensive, suitable for a man or a woman, but lacks warmth & may not be suitable in cold weather.
13th January, 2011

Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

To my nose this starts out with a blast of clove & anise that's slightly off-putting but quickly dries down to an inoffensive powdery slurry of notes.

It's not for me, but I don't hate it. Off to the swap pile.
07th January, 2011