Perfume Reviews

Reviews by odysseusm

Total Reviews: 1498

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

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

Mississippi Medicine by D.S. & Durga

I like this herbal-medicinal brew. Hint of leather in the dry-down -- old saddle. Beautiful, haunting. Not sweet artificially, just at times the natural result of the rich ingredients. Patent medicine, liniment. Grassy, hay. No florals. Substantial but not heavy, wears well. Something like mint/earth, perhaps patchouli. Smoky mint. Green scene.
15th July, 2016
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La Collection Croisiere : Metal 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 Croisiere : 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
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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

La Fumée Alexandrie by Miller Harris

This is a delicate and very pleasant rose + oud scent. Rose and oud are a classic combination, and for good reason: the two notes compliment each other very well. Here, the two notes are in good proportion. The rose is light and sprightly, and the oud is restrained and mellow. The geranium probably accentuates and brightens the rose note. Nothing to fear from the birch tar here -- it just offers a mere hint of smoke. Also, the cumin is not problematic, just offering a light spice note. The scent is not sweet or cloying, quite unisex in style. Wears very well.
20th June, 2016

L'Eau Magnetic by Miller Harris

Pleasant, light. A low-key aquatic. Not sweet. Hint of a fruity note, perhaps from the bergamot. Unremarkable.
20th June, 2016

Vetiver Insolent by Miller Harris

A new scent by MH, and not one I care for. Does not compare to the Library Edition Veti Vert by the same house.
Starts green and grassy -- ok but nothing remarkable. Gets a bit aromatic and spicy. The grass quickly gets tiresome, a bit "stale" or fusty in my opinion. A slight note of toast with butter, not something I particularly care for. Vague hint of an incense-like note, which unfortunately does not last.
20th June, 2016

Wode by Boudicca

Appears to generate a variety of opinions. Either the juice or the bottle is a deep blue, hearkening to the mythic Celtic body paint. The scent is interesting, somewhat pleasant but outside my usual frames of reference. Airy, refreshing, sort of green-herbal in a non-natural way. Low-key, minimalist. Short longevity. Not dreadful, not compelling for me.
20th June, 2016

Nord du Nord by WienerBlut

A frosty, concept scent -- a blast of air from northern climes. Deliberately constructed on an icy-cool theme. The mint is OK, not verging on toothpaste. Minimalist in style. Not green. Low-key. Mildly refreshing. Not sweet. I found it slightly tiresome after a while -- a one-note samba.
20th June, 2016

Ex Voto by WienerBlut

An incense scent -- not surprising, given the name ("out of a vow" -- an offering given to fulfill a vow). Smelled better on paper, where it has a good frankincense/myrrh combo. On my skin, it quickly got sweeter and spicier than I like. Certainly not the equal of Heeley Cardinal or Odin No. 7.
20th June, 2016

Pure White Cologne / Original Cologne by Creed

This is a charming, delicate scent. I suppose it is labeled "masculine" because it is not sweetly floral and has a hint of wood (from the orange blossom). But really, it could be unisex.
Starts with lovely citrus notes. In particular, the grapefruit is realistic and distinctive. Develops some green tones building from the white grapefruit into a light galbanum and into a restrained green-pear note. Not fruity, just a hint of the latter note. Woody orange blossom. White musk and a starchy note from the rice powder.
This is of short duration, and here the flacon size is appropriate as it could be a refreshing splash -- albeit a rather expensive one.
02nd June, 2016

Sir by D.S. & Durga

A classy chypre. Despite the name, it is completely unisex in my opinion.
The rose note is apparent but does not dominate. The scent is not floral or sweet. A bit soapy at times, also salty, rubbery with a hint of leather -- all typical features of oak moss. The moss is well done, not brackish. A bit of an earthy note from the patchouli, but that note is very restrained (thankfully, since I don't like gobs of patchouli).
Thus, I think this is a very satisfactory scent.
26th May, 2016

Nero by Mazzolari

I hadn't expected to like this at all, given the notes listed. It is not sweet, and not particularly fruity. Crisp, full-bodied, and quite masculine in style (bold and aromatic). Has a crisply green note and assertive bergamot. Hints of wood and a light musk.
23rd May, 2016