Perfume Reviews

Reviews by odysseusm


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
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

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

Vetiver by Guerlain

For many, this is a benchmark vetiver. I prefer Givenchy, which I find more pleasant in the early stages.
For me, this starts in a rather sharp, metallic way. It quickly gives over to the prominent iodine note one often finds in vetivers.
I don't get a nice citrus-friendly note, nor a grassy note, nor an earthy note -- elements which add to the appeal of a vetiver.
Eventually the scent settles down into the usual vetiver dry-down. Pleasant, but I find better vetivers on the scene.
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
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Renshaw by Murdock

A very pleasant scent, unisex in style. Meant to evoke the scent of a "well manicured English lawn" as encountered in a game of croquet or tennis.
The scent starts crisp and dry. The pink grapefruit is a brilliant touch, and is very refreshing and brisk. The florals come together in a well-designed manner. Delicate, not too sweet, giving a light green chord. The violet and lily of the valley hold centre court. Violet has its haunting, ghostly silver aspect here. The dry-down is a tiny tiny bit sweet but it is not problematic. Quite a charming, spring-like scent.
31st July, 2015

Napier 1903 by Murdock

I like it. It is distinctive and well done.
Starts with a green, dusky-dry note. Very good, could last a bit longer. The fig leaf is crisp and not over-done.
Then there is an aromatic note from the dried fruit. This is interesting. Some of the dried fruit might reflect fig. Whatever it is, it works well and has a really unique character. I particularly appreciate that it is largely a dry note, rather than a sugary-rich one. Serge Lutens could learn something from this company.
The dry-down is slightly soapy and has good oakmoss and perhaps a hint of wood.
The scent is dignified, somewhat "sporty" in a good sense and masculine. Wears well.
28th July, 2015

Angéliques Sous La Pluie by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I find this to be a good, if rather restrained scent. I had to apply more than usual in order to get a distinct impression of it. Dry, flinty, peppery spice. Nutty coriander and also a hint of cumin. Woody, very low-key. Hint of a mineral note -- presumably the scent after a rain.
Doesn't make a big impression on me but there is nothing wrong with it.
27th July, 2015

Notting Hill by English Laundry

Mind-bogglingly bad. Shrill, loud, synthetic, screechy, cheap, artificial. Synthetic bergamot on steroids, lousy musk and not much else.
26th July, 2015

Garrigue by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Mild thumbs-up. The term "Garrigue" is a French (Provencal) word which means "the scent of a breeze blowing through resinous shrubs, herbs, and baked earth." This scent attempts to convey that experience.

MPG's notes are as follows:
Top - lemon, bergamot, juniper
Mid - lavender, sage, rosemary
Base - sandalwood, musk

Has a plummy bergamot opening. A bit of lavender but mostly sage at this point. The scent is a bit sweet, and quite powerfully aromatic. Many MPGs fall into this sort of style. This does have a slight baked-earth note. The herbal notes grow in intensity. The dry-down has a very "fresh" musk note which I feel is a bit synthetic. That sort of brisk, lemony-musk note is also found in Trumper's Wellingon. It reminds me of dusty lemon drops. The final dry-down is cool, lemony and herbal.
For me, not bottle-worthy but interesting.
24th July, 2015

As Sawira by Penhaligon's

A superb scent. Penhaligons calls it a "woody chypre", and it is oud-centric.
Starts with a green, spicy, oud chord. Immediately an exotic and classy note is established. The scent is rich yet dry, substantial but not heavy. The oud is handled brilliantly, conveying its distinctive nature but with charm, restraint and elegance. The florals soften and add a lovely element to the oud, and woody incense notes deepen the foundation.
Beautiful! Wears very well. Completely satisfying.
22nd July, 2015

No. 33 by Penhaligon's

A mild thumbs-up. The scent is in two phases: the first is excellent, the second is just average in my opinion.
Starts with a green, dusky opening. So dusky it is almost dusty. Bone-dry. Cool and refreshing, yet with some warmth from the peppery spices. Everything is well-blended and subtle. I wish this phase lasted longer. The florals are a very subtle element.
Phase two is a typical masculine dry-down. A bit soft, a bit sweet. Tobacco, vanilla and slight wood tones. Nothing remarkable here, and slightly sweeter than I like.
This is a good scent, not heavy and well made. Many will like it.
21st July, 2015

Levantium by Penhaligon's

This is an excellent scent. I like it very much.
First -- to get some matters out of the way.... One need not fear the spices, floral notes (especially ylang-ylang), peach or vanilla. Sometimes, indeed often, I find these to be overdone for my taste. Not here. They are minor issues, not really notes per se so much as very subtle elements which add to the complexity of the overall scent.
Basically, this is a scent which starts with a marvellous green chord, and finishes with an excellent oud note.
The opening is green, tangy, resinous and slightly rubbery. It is full-bodied, even rich, yet dry. Fantastic! The anise/fennel note is prominent, indicative of the absinthe.
The scent develops into a very well-considered oud. Works well, wears well. More woody than medicinal-challenging. A bit bright and piercing at first. Intriguing, classy. Rose clings to the oud in later stages for a classic, warm combination.
I urge people to give this a try. I think it is a winner, one of the best of Penhaligon's recent introductions.
20th July, 2015

Milk of Flowers by Geo F Trumper

Sweet and very creamy. Spicy-floral with a hint of green. Yes, it smells like carnation and stocks flowers. Quite clove-y and assertive as it develops. Not at all suitable for me.
19th July, 2015

Pure Essence Eau de Parfum No.2 Rose by Neal's Yard

Unremarkable. More fruit than rose, despite all the rose notes listed. When the rose finally appears, it is cheerful but doesn't have much depth.
This scent is NOT the equivalent of the Neal's Yard Frankincense, which is excellent.
19th July, 2015

Shagya by Parfums de Marly

An interesting, complex green scent. Good citrus and spice up-front. The oud adds a tangy note but is not overwhelming or odd. The vetiver and papyrus give a grassy chord. My one complaint is that the dry-down gets too sweet to suit me.
19th July, 2015

Cassis en Feuille by Miller Harris

Starts well, gets a bit sweet in the dry-down. Light enough to be "unisex" but due to its sweet nature I'd class it as feminine.
Starts with a fresh, bright bergamot -- very cheery, crisp fruit. The rose is pleasant, at first green and then deepens somewhat. Combines well with the green blackcurrant note. Hints of wood, but these are very faint. Where is the tomato leaf? That would add a note of interest, but I can't find it. Dry-down is a bit sweet and metallic.
19th July, 2015

Lentisque / Spanish Bush by Phaedon

This has a very green opening. The mastic and galbanum combine to give a leafy, refreshing, crisp and resinous accord. At times there is a hint of a dusky green note, like clary sage. Superbly dry, classy and wears very well. Arguably one of the best of the mastic-oriented scents on the scene. Lovely hint of dry woods. In the dry-down, a well-rounded vetiver note appears, presenting grassy, smoky and earthy tones. A pleasure to wear!
19th July, 2015

Jack by Jack

Disappointed in this. Had expected a better than usual celebrity scent, given the person involved (Richard E. Grant) and the assertion that he was quite involved in the design and development, rather than just lending his name.
Interestingly, marijuana was originally listed among the top notes. But I don't see it here in BN.
This has an extremely assertive mandarin opening note -- almost overwhelmingly monolithic for a very long period of time. It smells a bit faux and boring. Eventually a somewhat grassy, resinous note emerges in the dry-down. But here, it is a bit too sweet to suit me.
18th July, 2015

Corsica Furiosa by Parfum d'Empire

Not bad, but there are better mastic/lentisque scents out there. Phaedon's Lentisque for example.
Green and grassy, with very hay-like aspects. Unfortunately, for me the mastic here smells exactly like cooked celery leaf! And that note remains very strong throughout. It dominates over the tomato leaf and mint, which would be good notes if they were more foreground. I think this scent is not very well designed.
18th July, 2015

Gorse by Laboratory Perfumes

VERY disappointed in this. A scent called "Gorse" should be green, resinous, scrub-like herbal and dry.
This is feminine, soft, a bit metallic, foody and rather floral. There is an odd, buttery-nut note which I've encountered in other scents and which I don't like. Tuberose? Iris? Whatever it is, I find it irritating.
18th July, 2015

Pardon by Nasomatto

No, too foody/gourmand to suit me. It delivers on the listed notes, and flowers-chocolate-spice is not something that appeals to me.
18th July, 2015