Perfume Reviews

Reviews by odysseusm

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Total Reviews: 1666

Blackbird by Olympic Orchids

The concept is straightforward: picking blackberries in a cool, dark forest. The scent achieves exactly that: the berry notes are very jammy and rich; and the forest notes are resinous, coniferous, and grassy. Each component is exactly what it should be, and the notes are accurate and evocative. I admire a scent which delivers what it promises.
However, do I like this combination? No. In my opinion, the fruity note dominates, to the detriment of the forest notes. The fruit is foreground, the forest is background. I would prefer the reverse. The fruit note lingers well into the dry-down. I wish it would clear away, because those forest notes are quite good. Those are in the Slumberhouse or O'Driu style.
Assessing this sort of scent really depends on how much you like the combination, or at least a rich berry note.
03rd August, 2016

10 Crosby Blackout by Derek Lam

Doesn't quite live up to its notes but is a pleasant scent. With osmanthus, I expect a bit of a jasmine note -- none here. With chai tea, I expect black tea -- none here.
The scent is a bit sweet at first but is OK. Settles into a rich scent, with plum/raisin (from the osmanthus) and a slightly spicy, leather-esque note.
01st August, 2016

Finisterre by Maria Candida Gentile

I like it. Scrubby gorse/pine notes. The sage is herbal and a bit rubbery, but that is OK. Dry and aromatic. The helichyrsum adds a dusky and slightly honeyed note. The marine note is of the salty sea breeze variety: pleasant, not ozonic. Well done! Airy. The amber is the ambergris mode (sea-side) rather than the buttery sweet king. Low-key, subtle, sits close to the skin. The pine note is refreshing and the wood note is well done. Wears well, pleasant throughout.
01st August, 2016
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Version Originale by Jean-Marc Sinan

Definitely an old-school 80's fougere, with the typical "dirty" spice, old ashtray vibe. Deliberately macho, but if applied lightly it is charming. Peppery spice combines well with the carnation. Can't detect the lemon or lavender. The florals are clumped together into a rather solid mass, thankfully not sweet or cloying. The dry-down contains a lovely surprise -- a wistful and accurate lily of the valley note. A shy ray of springtime light in an otherwise darkish scent.
01st August, 2016

10 Crosby Drunk On Youth by Derek Lam

A very subtle scent. The green apple note is crisp, perhaps a bit metallic but not problematic. The honeysuckle is quite subdued, in fact the scent overall is not very floral. Hint of wood/stalk in the dry-down.
01st August, 2016

10 Crosby Afloat by Derek Lam

This is a charming, lovely floral. Delicate, spring-like, green-tinged and not too sweet. Sits close to the skin.
01st August, 2016

Hombre by La Martina

I just find this to be so-so. Some herbal notes, but they are a bit sweet and shallow. Leather is vague and of a soapy variety. Really, nothing remarkable here.
26th July, 2016

10 Crosby Silent St. by Derek Lam

A non-controversial, safe scent. Simply a light white musk. Conveys a soapy-clean vibe and sits close to the skin.
25th July, 2016

10 Crosby Ellipsis by Derek Lam

This has a pretty jasmine - floral note. But it also has a metallic and sour sort of note. If that is supposed to be sandalwood it is wide of the mark. Settles into an innocuous skin scent.
25th July, 2016

10 Crosby 2am Kiss by Derek Lam

This is a foody/gourmand sort of scent. Sweet, sugar - butter - toasty caramel. Vague woody note. Pleasant if you like that sort of thing.
25th July, 2016

Blu Mediterraneo Cedro di Taormina by Acqua di Parma

Lemony, peppery. No surprises. Dry, citrusy, air-y. Settles into a lightly wooded and vetiver chord. Not complex but well done. Refreshing summer scent. Good persistence on the lemon note.
21st July, 2016

Nagud by Bois 1920

Quite a melange of notes: citrus, spice, floral, incense, woods, oriental basenotes.
Interesting opening. Rather sharp. Really, I lose all the top and heart notes immediately and go immediately to the base. Woods, resins, animalic notes combine. Dry, tangy-metallic due to the patchouli. Not a fan of this sort of patchouli. Vanilla is not present, thankfully. A smoky, earthy dry-down.
Since I'm really not a fan of this patchouli, I can't give it an endorsement. Others may be able to appreciate it.
I wish the heart notes had been evident.
20th July, 2016

Coal by Andrea Maack

Notes: sichuan pepper, juniper berry, cedar wood, papyrus, coal accord, sandalwood, patchouli, leather

A simple, somewhat underwhelming scent. Starts a bit on the sweet side, suggesting a berry-like note. Develops a significant woody tone, with some dry pepper and a stalky green note that must be the papyrus. That same papyrus note is found in Hermes' Un Jardin sur le Nil (Garden on the Nile), to better effect in my opinion. A somewhat sweetish leather note combines with and deepens the wood notes. Not a bad scent, but a little sweeter than I like. Given the name, I was expecting something darker and well, more coal-like.
20th July, 2016
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Hyperessence Matale 12 by Parfumerie Generale

This scent is all over the place -- an odd jumble of elements.
First there is a very pleasant citrus-lemon note. Quite refreshing, and the mint adds more brightness.
The lemon segues into the tea, which is a moderate note in intensity -- not strong or tannic-smelling. Essentially black tea with some lemon squeezed in, which I like.
Then there is a pronounced smoky leather note. Interesting, but quite a shift, even a jarring one. A bit rubbery at times.
Then some black pepper and a wet kind of soggy leaves.
So much going on that I can't resolve it.
In the end, given the disparate range of notes, I can't endorse it.
20th July, 2016

White Rose by Floris

A sweet and pretty floral. Good rose note combines with jasmine and a hint of violet. Simple, young and charming.
19th July, 2016

Robert Graham Valour by Robert Graham

An intriguing scent. I can't think of any other which combines clary sage and coffee bean. The sage is herbal, a bit minty. The coffee bean is well done -- at first I thought the beans were green and then a delicious and quite subtle roasted coffee note appears. All of this is then supported by a very light toasted wood note. This definitely is one to check out.
17th July, 2016

Robert Graham Fortitude by Robert Graham

A rich, sweet tobacco leaf note is apparent the instant I applied the scent. Hints of earthy patchouli and a hay note from the tonka. A simple scent, minimalist. Not my style but some would appreciate it.
17th July, 2016

Robert Graham Courage by Robert Graham

Good lemon, not boozy despite the vodka element. Bergamot deepens the citrus. Touch of dry wood. Clean, crisp, minimalist. Gets a bit sweeter in the dry-down. Not wildly innovative, but an acceptable sort of scent. Completely inoffensive.
17th July, 2016

Oud Palao by Diptyque

I like it, and was surprised by it. Its dry, resinous style reminds me of Slumberhouse or O'Driu. In other words, this is a new style for Diptyque.
The floral/rose note is very brief. The oud develops quickly: sharp and rubbery. Coniferous resins from the frankincense and cistus appear. The scent is woody, resinous and dry. The vanilla is NOT evident (thankfully).
A smoky, woody and mellow oud.
17th July, 2016

Mississippi Medicine by D.S. & Durga

Update -- I pulled the trigger and now own a bottle of this beautiful, distinctive scent. It is very woody, in fact a veritable woodshop. Smoky birch tar adds to the slow-burning embers aspect. Resinous, terpenic, at times heady and exhilarating. Hints of incense. The lone floral (violet) adds a silver-ghostly subtext, appropriate to the so-called "death-cult" vibe of the scent. ;)
I like this herbal-medicinal brew. Hint of leather in the dry-down (like an old saddle). Beautiful, haunting. Not sweet artificially, just at times the natural result of the rich ingredients. Reminiscent of patent medicine and liniment. Grassy, hay-like. No florals. Substantial but not heavy, wears well. Something like mint/earth, perhaps patchouli. Smoky mint. Green scene.
15th July, 2016 (last edited: 25th February, 2017)

Lothair by Penhaligon's

Interesting, grew tiresome and synthetic.
Started well: woody, smoky, interestingly combined with a grapefruit/berry note. Eased into a fig chord, but this was regrettably brief. Some complex combinations entered: lavender, fig, wood. This was nice. Then, the scent fell apart into a rather shallow and synthetic wood tone and I grew tired of it quickly.
15th July, 2016

La Collection Croisière : Métal Hurlant by Pierre Guillaume

I hadn't expected to appreciate this, but it is OK. Easy to wear, despite the high-concept notes.
A bit sweet but not problematic. Industrial but low-key. The leather note is extremely mild. The overall impression is of fresh air, a clean and slightly metallic vibe. It does sit close to the skin.
In my opinion, it bears no relation to the train wreck that is OL Chypre Mousse.
Not my style at all but it is interesting.
14th July, 2016

Myrrhiad by Huitième Art

Sorry, the sweet vanilla wrecks it for me. Very vanilla from the get-go, overpowering the interesting myrrh. The myrrh (when it can assert itself) is smoky and languid.
Everything is done is sweet, rich style. The vanilla. At times the myrrh takes on a balsamic note. The licorice is green and mysterious but gets sweet and heavy.
In the Serge Lutens style of sweetness, heaviness and gourmand.
Eventually the vanilla morphs into a rubber-vanilla chord. Not an improvement.
13th July, 2016

Blasted Bloom by Penhaligon's

A pleasant, spring-like, somewhat innocuous scent. Berries are slightly sweet at first but not problematic. Green, cheerful, fresh -- open-field connotations. A light rose note in a green style (not heavy). Didn't notice any "untamed energy" exploding.
07th July, 2016

Blasted Heath by Penhaligon's

"Heath" -- an area of open uncultivated land, especially in Britain, with characteristic vegetation of heather, gorse, and coarse grasses.
OK, sounds good and the sort of thing I would like.
My question to Penhaligon -- what has the ocean to do with the heath? Heaths are not usually seaside.
This is an aquatic scent, make no mistake. That sort of scent is not something I particularly like. Thus, I wind up damning this with (at best) faint praise.
Starts a bit sweet but that is typical of aquatics. Various green notes appear, reasonably well done. A noticeable mineral/metallic/salty-iodine note establishes itself as the centre. The seaweed has made its appearance. Briny green. Bit synthetic but not bad if you want an aquatic green-vegetal scent. Not up to the usual Penhaligons form -- or a brand-new venture -- take your pick.
06th July, 2016

La Collection Croisière : Entre Ciel et Mer by Pierre Guillaume

It is a rare marine/aquatic that I can appreciate -- and this is one. I like that it is not synth-ozonic-screechy loud. The scent has a blue-green tone. Starts with an interesting blend of lavender, green pear (not fruity) and thyme. This largely herbal chord is pleasant and clean. There is a mineral-salt-moss note from the lichen in the dry-down, and a hint of wood.
25th June, 2016

Bottega Veneta pour Homme Extrême by Bottega Veneta

A powerful green, aromatic chypre. Dusky, with a kind of odd rubber note, almost like rubber cement or solvent. Herbal notes akin to sage or thyme suggest themselves. Starts dry but gets a bit sweet. A sweetish leather in the dry-down.
25th June, 2016

El Born by Carner Barcelona

What is one person's delicious gourmand is another person's wretched vanilla bomb. Very sweet, vanilla-dominant, foody. A kind of toasted note and smoky note add some interest, but I just find it too sweet to even grudgingly admire.
25th June, 2016

Paradis Perdu by Frapin

This is a lovely scent and one which any fan of green should investigate. It starts with a strong galbanum note, supported by various herbs. Then, the citrus appears -- mostly yellow grapefruit which compliments the initial notes. Hay and light wood notes follow. Finally (and surprisingly, given its position in the pyramid) the bergamot appears and in fact remains for the duration of the scent. This is a plump, fruity-berry note and it is for this reason that the scent is not bottle-worthy for me. The fruity note is not what I look for in a green scent. It is a very good bergamot note, not faux or in-your-face (as that note can sometimes be in cheap men's scents). But, it is still a fruity note and those are not to my taste. Thus, I recognize the quality of the scent and commend it to your attention; but don't seek it out myself.
24th June, 2016

Floris London + Turnbull & Asser 71/72 by Floris

I approached this with great interest. The claim is that this is a very exclusive, limited-edition scent of high-quality ingredients. Only around a hundred bottles, each hand-poured in the Floris flagship shop in London. Here's what I found.
The scent is very, very subtle. Sits close to the skin. Traces of oud, very restrained. All the ingredients are closely blended, it is not possible to pick out particular notes. The only thing I could detect was a woody note in the dry-down.
The scent is elegant and attractive. However, it is quite restrained, almost minimalist. Given the price and exclusivity, I would expect more.
22nd June, 2016