Perfume Reviews

Reviews by odysseusm


Santal Woods by Note Fragrances

I'm underwhelmed by this. Given the excellent notes, it could have been so much more. Overall, it is a rather generic fresh scent. Mainstream, slightly sweet.
Starts with a minty fresh and citrus chord. There's lavender, but it seems a bit synthetic. The fresh aspect is quite tired and predictable, seen in hundreds of scents. Shallow, a bit metallic at times. I don't get any conifers. Eventually I detect some black pepper. Perhaps the so-called cypress is to be found in the cool, minty note -- if so it is rather artificial in style. Where is the sandalwood? Very slow to appear if at all. I expected more, given the scent's name.
Basically, this is an innocuous light woody fresh scent. Meh.
29th October, 2015

Royal Purpure by D.S. & Durga

My theory is that the secret ingredient here (not listed in the notes) is violet leaf. Hence the "purple" hint in the scent's name.
Fig leaf + violet leaf give a silvery-green opening. Dry, airy at first and this is augmented by a coniferous note. Together, we see a minty-cool aspect. The cypress then appears and adds a resinous and further coniferous aspect. I should totally be digging this, but it gets a bit sweet for a while, and the violet tends to dominate. Eventually the violet retreats, the wood increases, and the scent is pretty good. And overall, it is quite distinctive.
29th October, 2015

Korrigan by Lubin

Not my style and to my nose a rather odd combination -- gourmand & oud. However, it is well made and some may like it.
Quite sweet, with vanilla, sugar and butter notes -- like a sugar cookie or shortbread. Then, hints of leather and oud.
24th October, 2015
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Sauvage by Christian Dior

I could be neutral because it is merely a "meh" scent -- bland, uninspiring.
But it gets a thumbs down because it messes with the brand name "Sauvage" which should be associated with the timeless classic Eau Sauvage.
Here is a mediocre, citrusy scent with vague allusions to herbal notes but mostly a somewhat thin, metallic middle and a run-of-the-mill synth musky dry-down.
Really? Is this the best that Dior could do? :\
04th October, 2015

Italian Bergamot by Ermenegildo Zegna

A mild thumbs-up here. Nothing earth-shaking or mind-boggling, but a solid scent with good ingredients, well executed.
Opening is citrusy and green (of herbs). The scent is genteel and reminds me of the Aqua di Parma line, a version of that classic EdP scent which properly never goes out of style. The scent stays at that stage for a while, no new developments. The dry-down is a bit grassy and adds new green notes, courtesy of the vetiver.
28th September, 2015

MAAI by Bogue Profumo

I'm neutral on it. This sort of scent is just not my style: rich, opulent, floral. I'm not a fan of tuberose, finding the indolic notes a bit jarring. However, I will concede that this is a well-made, complex scent. I can see why it some would find it beautiful.
It starts with lovely resinous notes in shades of green and brown. I like this phase. The spices pick up very quickly and add a lot of sweet, exotic heft.
Unfortunately for me, the scent just keeps ramping up, up, up. To my taste it gets sweet and dense, heavy and unpleasant. The animalic notes are intriguing and earthy, but they too add to the heaviness.
I had hoped the resinous notes were ameliorate the mix, but they get buried.
25th September, 2015

Narkiss by Ayala Moriel

The fragrance notes according to Ayala are as follows:
Top - Szechuan pepper, bergamot, iris
Mid - Narcissus, coffee flower, orange blossom
Base - Pinewood, liatrix, ambreine, musk
Ayala also says that "Narkiss" means narcissus in the Hebrew language.

This is a big-hearted, green, aromatic scent. Dusky, earthy, exotic, unusual. It brings to mind some other of AM's green scents, such as Rainforest.
There is a spicy note, somewhat like cinnamon. A petrochor note from the so-called "stone tincture" (fossilized scat). A sort of wild mint/camphor and hay note from the liatrix (which is a source of coumarin). And something like tobacco leaf in the dry-down.

I know that AM makes a lot of her own tinctures, and this is an unconventional and intriguing brew. Those who appreciate Slumberhouse, OLO and O'Driu will like this.

Not sweet, and not floral. At times, it seems like a rich masculine fougere of the 80's. At other times, it seems utterly new and almost indescribable.

Hint of animalic twang from the stone tincture in the dry-down.

Definitely worth a look-see for those who like something off the beaten track.
19th September, 2015

O/E by Bogue Profumo

I give this a thumbs-up because I feel that it is a stylish and beautiful scent. It is not my style although it has some very attractive elements, particularly in the beginning.
Unlike some, I get ZERO citrus here. But this is an issue I often encounter. On my skin, top notes tend to vanish.
What I do get is an immediate woody blast, followed by herbal notes. This is a resinous and dry combination. At times, it takes on a rich and slightly soapy aspect.
I consider this to be an aromatic-leathery fougere, definitely in the style of old-school scents such as Dior's Jules.
The dry-down starts off bright, as the terpene and camphor notes reach their peak. Peppery spice also peaks at this point.
The final dry-down is rich, luxurious, animalic, earthy and leathery. This last phase is where the scent and I walk separate paths. I no longer care for this sort of scent, though I wore it in the 80's.
Still, many will appreciate it, and I consider it to be well crafted.
18th September, 2015

Hermèssence Cuir d'Ange by Hermès

I find this to be a rather odd scent. It is a cool leather.
Normally I associate leather with a warm character -- spices, the comforting smell of old gloves, or an old briefcase.
This is an unusually cool treatment of a leather note.
Starts off sweet and quite perfumey -- the sort of note I associate with an old make-up case. Stale and a bit musty. Evokes Miss Havisham in Dicken's Great Expectations.
But there is also a cool metallic note here.
The "heliotrope" bears no resemblance to the flower. The ambrette seed gives a tangy snap. Hawthorn -- perhaps a viscous, slightly shrubby note.
Overall, this seems like a jumble of poorly blended notes. I don't find it attractive and in fact rather discordant.
The SA who gave me the sample said that this was one of the least successful in the Hermessence line. I agree.
16th September, 2015

Wild by Dsquared2

The name "Wild" is a complete misnomer, as this is a light and rather bland scent. It is like Clinique Happy for Men -- designed to be inoffensive, fresh and clean in style. The so-called wood and resin notes are very light. There is also a faint powdery sweet note from the vegetable amber. This briefly takes on the aspect of powdered laundry detergent. Nothing to diss or get enthusiastic about here. A scent for guys who are wary of anything interesting.
14th September, 2015

Happy for Men by Clinique

I find it hard to imagine anyone disliking this scent. It is designed to be, and is, a light-hearted, "clean", orangey spritz. It is pleasant, refreshing, not challenging in any way, inoffensive, amiable, easy-going... you get the picture. A scent for guys who wouldn't normally wear a scent, and definitely much better and classier than the dreaded Axe stuff.
Bit of a woody musk chord in the dry-down.
12th September, 2015

Cuir Fétiche by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Hadn't expected to like this but I do.
I find the leather note to be soft, aged and classy.
The florals are rich and substantial, but not heavy.
This has a real old-school veneer.
Bit of a metallic twang in the dry-down. Some have called it "ashtray". I think it comes from the patchouli and musk. The dry-down gets a bit sweeter but also smokier which is a nice touch.
Not my style, but I think it is a nice scent.
06th September, 2015

Rose Amazone by Hermès

Rose, but brisk/crisp and green. Has the leaves of the fruit rather than ripe berries. The rose vanishes rather quickly. Slight woody note, and also something like buttered toast (probably the amber). Grapefruit (pink) notes persist, perhaps that is noteworthy but not enough in and of itself to recommend the scent. Certainly unisex, maybe a bit on the aquatic side. Or a near neighbour to that style, a bit woodier. A pier on the sunny dock. Final dry-down achieves a slight rose note but it is also a bit metallic.
In sum: not offensive but unremarkable.
05th September, 2015
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Acqua di Parma Colonia Club by Acqua di Parma

The latest addition to the AdP line is an homage to the old-school, largely European sporty scents of the 60's and 70's. Examples include Trophee Lancome, Royal Green, Monsieur Leorard, and Victor Original and Fresco. These are characterized by a cut-grass chord (evoking golf courses) with a fresh note(suggesting a cool morning breeze). Mint/herbs and vetiver feature in this style, more recently seen in Creed's Green Irish Tweed. This style marks a departure or new direction for AdP, which up to now has seen variations on its classic lemon/citrus Eau de Cologne classic style.
Colonia Club is somewhat green, and certainly sporty and aromatic. Mint leaf gives a fresh, bright note without seeming like toothpaste. Indeed, the scent is very fresh and cool at this point, and it retains that quality throughout its development. The geranium is leaf (not rose) and adds to the herbal-bright aspect. There is coumarin here (giving a hay-vanilla note in the dry-down. Thus with lavender and coumarin I feel this may be called a fougere.
Green fans should check it out. There are products in the line, for a complete experience.
01st September, 2015

Jour d'Hermès Absolu by Hermès

Crisp opening, like biting into a delicious fruit of some sort. The florals are vibrant and pretty. The apricot note is charming, a peach note with a metallic and slightly nutty edge. Bit of an earthy, even woody dry-down.
Definitely a young vibe here, and positioned to the feminine market.
Not my style, but nothing wrong with it.
31st August, 2015

Alaïa by Azzedine Alaïa

Marketed as feminine but could be of interest to guys. In fact the high-end store in my city places it in both men's and women's fragrance sections
Starts with a dry, airy note. The peppery dryness balances a slightly sweet floral chord. The floral is not identifiable as freesia or peony, it is if anything more like violet or violet leaf, with a slightly metallic and silvery-grey quality. The scent settles into a slightly dirty (and interesting) musk.
Miminalistic in style. A clever balance between dry and sweet, restrained and animalic. Sits very close to the skin. Interesting and different from the usual.
31st August, 2015

Fleur de Portofino by Tom Ford

Labeled as unisex, but in my opinion more suitable for a feminine market. Very pretty. A rich mix of floral notes, no orange that I can detect. The florals are white-blossom in style. A bit sweet but not cloying. Underpinning the florals is a slight green herbal note which is pleasant.
30th August, 2015

Geranium Odorata by Diptyque

As an EdT, this is a light scent -- and lovely.
Essentially it is very delicate rose note freshened by a light crisp leafy green note. There is a hint of a peppery bite, and the vetiver and wood add depth without directly asserting themselves.
A refreshing summer spritz, not profound but very enjoyable. Pretty, but not sweet and easily wearable by a guy. Subtle, sits close to the skin.
Don't 'scruit it -- just enjoy it. :)
30th August, 2015

Armani Privé Rose Alexandrie by Giorgio Armani

Neutral on it.
Points in favour: pleasant, fresh rose note at the beginning. Not sweet or heavy.
Points against: scent is shallow, lacks depth or interest. Devolves into a slightly fruity, young scent.
Not horrible or even problematic, really. But not what one expects from this line.
16th August, 2015

Lady Vengeance by Juliette Has a Gun

This suffers (in my opinion) in comparison to its sister scent, Romantina.
Here, a woody vanilla immediately hit my nose. The rose is of a sweet and rather shallow variety. There is a fruity, semi-aquatic note here. Then most notes scuttle away and one is left with a rather thin musky note.
I think this tries to be "more" than Romantina, and winds up being "less."
10th August, 2015

Romantina by Juliette Has a Gun

A pretty, delicate floral. The rose note is lovely and natural in style. Overall, the scent is sweet and charming, conveying an innocent young character.
10th August, 2015

Intense He Wood by Dsquared2

An aquatic wood. Don't really care for it. The violet leaf is OK but not exceptional. The wood notes are on the sweet side. I can't find much difference between this and the original Dsquared.
09th August, 2015

Carven Pour Homme by Carven

A sweeter, more mainstream version of Grey Flannel. The violet leaf is done in too sweet a manner, losing its classy distinctive features. The spices are also sweet and undistinguished. I don't care for this scent at all.
09th August, 2015

Mythique by Delrae

A lovely, delicate scent. Starts with a green, soft chord of citrus and green leaves. Develops into a gentle, fresh floral. Very low-key and sits close to the skin. The florals are muted, not distinguishable as peony or jasmine. Not sweet, heavy or cloying. Dry-down has a hint of a toasted nut note from the ambrette. Aimed at the feminine market, but some guys might appreciate it.
07th August, 2015

Oud Velvet Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

I like it a lot.
This features oud, and you either tolerate/like the note or else you can't stand it. It is very distinctive, and here it certainly has the quirky, bright, piercing, medicinal, rubbery, band-aid combo typical of many ouds. I find it charming once in a while.
The spices are very background, I don't get them as a distinct element.
What I appreciate is the copaiba balsam. That is a terpene, bitter, camphoraceous note which I enjoy and which works well with the oud.
Oud + turpentine in an uncompromising manner. Not an office scent, at least not your usual office. But for some, such as myself, an enjoyable scent.
05th August, 2015

Interlude Woman by Amouage

This is an intriguing scent, largely due to the helichrysum. This flower has a distinctive scent, often described as a combination of "burnt sugar and ham." That is exactly what I find in this scent.
It starts with a soft and attractive note, and is slightly sweet at this point. Smoky, a bit of ginger, toasted nuts, ever so slightly gourmand perhaps. The scent becomes substantial but is not heavy. It is rich but not cloying, and has a somewhat haunting aura due to whiffs of incense. Hints of wood and a sort of leathery note. Not quite my style, but I can admire the craft and elegance here. The nutty sugar note of the helichrysum may be an acquired taste.
05th August, 2015

Replica Jazz Club by Martin Margiela

Not my style, and thus it is difficult for me to review objectively.
Has a bizarre coconut opening -- quite unexpected.
This burns off in a minute.
Then there is a sweet, dense scent. Hint of herbs but mostly tobacco leaf and a sort of faux boozy note that is meant to be rum.
If you like this sort of combo then by all means try it. Does not suit me in the least.
04th August, 2015

Costa Azzurra by Tom Ford

An intriguing scent. I found a fresh-citrus opening, quickly joined by a complex herbal note. Other reviewers have mentioned a more complete note list than that on BN. For me, the herbal note settles into the "thyme" category, a sort which I can appreciate but can be overdone. Even here, I think I would find the scent to be tiresome in the long run. Thus, although I applaud its dryness and herbal qualities, I won't be getting it.
02nd August, 2015

Mandom by Mandom

The Bronson commercials are remarkable.
The scent is pleasant, light, not problematic, not heavy or sweet.
Just a citrus - herbal - light wood scent. A bit powdery in the dry-down. Simple.
02nd August, 2015

Cape Heartache by Imaginary Authors

I like this, it is a wonderfully woody scent. Unlike others, I don't really get the strawberry note. Or the vanilla, for that matter.
Here's what I do get.
A very good opening, with lovely resinous and coniferous notes. Dry, woody, calming and energizing at the same time. The scent is in the Slumberhouse style but a bit more accessible. Beautiful, simple, focused. The scent develops a bit of sweetness but not problematic in my opinion. Much of the sweetness comes from a balsamic note -- to be expected in a woody scent.
If you like woody scents, then you need to give this a try.
01st August, 2015