Perfume Reviews

Reviews by odysseusm

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Total Reviews: 1657

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
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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

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
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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

Jermyn Street by Floris

I find this to be a bit brash. Similar to Floris' Elite + JF. Green, juniper and vetiver, surrounded by bergamot and spices. Sporty, "fresh" and a bit ozonic. Much like Casswell-Massey's reformulated Greenbriar. Dusky green, musk dry-down -- BIG overall, not subtle.
21st June, 2016

Poivre Colonial by Phaedon

This is a very nice scent. Clean, peppery-dry. The pink grapefruit is realistic and gives an aromatic, bright, zesty aspect to the pepper note. Overall, the scent has a green sort of vibe. Straightforward and austere, but quite pleasant to wear.
21st June, 2016

Tacit by Aesop

This is a very good scent -- subtle, and for green fans.
Has a bright, refreshing citrus opening. The citrus in question is yuzu, which I find usually has a green edge to its lemony character. The scent develops its basil note, and this too is light, crisp and invigorating. So far, we have a classic cologne in style, reminiscent of Eau D'Orange Verte with greener, more herbal notes. Grassy vetiver appears in the dry-down, and the scent is green throughout its life. Light, subtle ("elusive" is suggested on the ad copy), very natural and pleasant to wear.
21st June, 2016

Halfeti by Penhaligon's

Starts promising, ends mediocre.
The opening has good note. Plummy bergamot. A melange of spices, well blended and not sweet. Is there a eucalyptus note? Something is minty here. Perhaps it is the cypress -- if so, well done. The leather is mild, the oud is restrained, the resins are robust and pleasant. To this point, all is well done and subtle. Here is a low-key, dry oriental -- commendable in that regard. Patchoulie and vanilla are very minor elements, certainly not problematic.
And then (as others have noted) a rather shallow synthetic note appears and it is on that note that the scent dwells for the rest of its time on earth (or my skin).
So in sum, the scent is not bad but not brilliant. Probably does not warrant its price tag.

21st June, 2016

Build & Destroy by James Lavelle & Azzi Glasser

Exclusive to Liberty London. Incense - wood - oud, and a good blend of those types of note. The oud is very restrained. The scent is not sweet or heavy. It has good longevity and wears well. Low-key, perhaps not particularly distinctive, but the three elements strike a good, masculine chord and the frankincense is attractive.
20th June, 2016

La Fumée Arabie by Miller Harris

This is a good, dry incense scent. The oud is extremely restrained. A simple, dry spice profile. Wood and leather notes in the dry-down. Classy and elegant.
20th June, 2016

Mr Taylor by Taylor of Old Bond Street

This is much like Truefitt & Hill's excellent Grafton, perhaps lacking some of that product's depth. A dusky green, herbal scent, with a salty moss dry-down.
20th June, 2016

Marescialla by Santa Maria Novella

This is an old-school scent: very powerful, herbal and spicy. It bears a strong relationship to SMN's excellent Potpourri. I'd say this is spicier than Potpourri and a bit sweeter. There is a eucalyptus note along with the thyme, giving a minty aspect which brightens the dark, rich spices. The minty note really pops in cool, fresh air -- I didn't notice it in the shop but did when I stepped outside. Fairly smoky. The sweetness comes from the spices rather than any floral note. At first I thought there was vanilla in the dry-down. Then I revised my opinion and think that the spice mix has been made in a traditional way, maturing in oak casks. The vanillin note is what one finds in red wines aged in this manner.
I'd say the scent is outstanding, but for me it is so similar to Potpourri that I don't feel compelled to purchase it. It certainly is worth checking out!
20th June, 2016

Library Collection: La Feuille by Miller Harris

This is an excellent scent, different from the usual offerings on the market. It is a fresh, white/green, crisp spring floral. There is some green apple but it is not problematically strong or sweet. Tomato leaf is evident but restrained. A milky-stalky sap note runs throughout. Interesting, well-made and complex. Wood develops in the dry-down, as does the fruit and an earthy, mossy note.
Ultimately, a bit fruity and sweet to suit me, but I am sure that many would enjoy it.
20th June, 2016