Perfume Reviews

Reviews by odysseusm


Tom Ford Noir Extreme by Tom Ford

This is not at all my style: very sweet, perfumed, almost honeyed and sugar-coated. Buttery amber and dollops of vanilla are notes I do not like.
Yet, I can give this a neutral rating. I concede that it is reasonably well done and not wretched or synthetic smelling.
Rose and floral notes dominate, along with amber and vanilla.
Where are the spices?
Where is the dry, resinous mastic?
Missing in action.
Well, some will like this. I think it would be better classified as an unisex scent.
24th January, 2016

Clean Reserve : Terra Wood by Clean

Synthetic, grassy, syntho-cedar. Smells shallow, cheap and unpleasant, slightly metallic and irritatingly sweet. Drugstore bin connotations. I can't imagine anyone thinking this is pleasant, attractive or classy.
24th January, 2016 (last edited: 23rd January, 2016)

Clean Reserve : Smoked Vetiver by Clean

Sweet, floral, synthetic. An unappealing, toasted nut note I often find in low-grade scents, probably a synthetic. Not a trace of anything remotely resembling vetiver, in any form I recognize.
No smoke. No vetiver. No interest.
24th January, 2016 (last edited: 23rd January, 2016)
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Musgo Real by Claus Porto

A very pleasant, old-school simple barbershop scent. Lavender and light spice are in good balance. After-shave but could be worn as a scent.
16th January, 2016

Venetian Bergamot by Tom Ford

This is a pleasant scent. Starts with crisp bergamot and a mildly peppery spice note. The ginger is not well done, it smells a bit tinny and faux. The white florals are OK, nothing exceptional there. The woods are very faint. Overall, the scent is cool and light, slightly soapy at times (perhaps from the sandalwood which gives a creamy note). The dry-down has a very effective use of cashmeran, which gives a gentle, soft, fuzzy-buzzy note and sits close to the skin. Yes, this is easily a unisex style.
05th January, 2016

Forest by Herban Cowboy

The name "Forest" and the green coloured box drew my eye. When I tried it on, I did not know the alleged ingredients. My impression was of a pleasant lime fresh scent, perhaps with a bit of ginger or mint.
I was surprised to find out that the notes are listed as: lavender, geranium, black pepper, oak moss and tree moss oils. Hmm, didn't get any of those, certainly not a mossy note I recognized.
The Herban Cowboy line is carried in earnest health food stores, so I wasn't expecting anything spectacular.
Interesting to try, but I can't imagine anyone being thrilled with this.
03rd January, 2016

Parfum Artemide by Centro di Archaeologia Sperimentale Antiquitate

Wow! I bought this in a little shop in Rome a few years ago and it has been languishing, untried, upon my shelf. I came across it a few days ago and am glad to comment on it.
Centro di Archaeologia Sperimentale Antiquitate is an Italian organization which seeks to re-create the features of life in ancient times. This scent is one aspect of that much larger project.
It is in an olive oil base. The ingredients are simple but satisfying. Very coniferous, with good herbal notes. I'm delighted! A lovely souvenir of my time in Rome and a pretty good scent. Bravo!
23rd December, 2015

Déclaration d'Un Soir by Cartier

This is an astonishing scent. Many scents claim to have cardamom as a note, but I am always hard-pressed to find that note. This scent accurately renders the green, nutty, aromatic and slightly resinous accord of very fresh cardamom pods and seeds. I find this an attractive, rather compelling note.
On the other hand, many scents have (but don't always acknowledge) cumin as a note. Well, I find cumin to be a very powerful spice and I simply don't see it here. It must be very subtle. That's OK, I don't really like cumin as a scent note (though it is fine in food).
Now here is the amazing thing. The incredible cardamom note works well with a very fresh rose note and the sandalwood to create a new chord. This process is very similar to what we see in a good fougere: the lavender, moss and coumarin make a chord that is more than the sum of the parts. Here too, we find a new chord -- and it is rich forest floor earth or what one smells working with potting soil. To my nose, it is an exact replication.
There are also pencil shavings (graphite, mineral, wood) lurking.
Now I wonder whether this was the intended effect. It is not exactly a tuxedo or evening-wear scent. Something more nature-oriented.
Finally, even a green nature lover such as myself might enjoy the effect, but would I go to the scent regularly? Probably not.
The scent is distinctive and very well executed, but it is such an exact replication of earth that it may be an acquired taste.
20th December, 2015

Gentlewoman by Juliette Has a Gun

This is a lovely and very gentle neroli scent, supported by light woods and musk. Soapy-clean (as neroli often suggests), cheery, and not sweet or heavy. Unisex. Simple but pleasant.
20th December, 2015

Miss Charming by Juliette Has a Gun

I am surprise to find this to be a slightly dry, green scent.
The rose is a very green, young rose. Perhaps it is tempered by lychee. I have no idea what raw lychee smells like, but there is a stalky, pulpy green note here.
The strawberry is a bit precious but not too sweet and it too has a green, slightly under-ripe aspect.
As it develops it gets sweeter so it isn't something that I'd stick with or enjoy wearing. But ... it is interesting and different. And not cloyingly sweet. Youthful.
20th December, 2015

La Vierge de Fer by Serge Lutens

Somewhat sweet. Green and stalky, a bit shallow and metallic. In fact, a bit screechy. Odd from SL, not the usual style. Would get irritating over time. Fruity note is generic, who knows what it is but I know I don't like it.
18th December, 2015

Vitriol d'Oeillet by Serge Lutens

A mild thumbs up. Nothing problematic here. A light, wispy scent. Rather pleasant, and certainly nothing like the odd name suggests. Indeed, a better name would be "Rose en argent" -- (rose in silver) -- for that is what the scent suggests. The iris and carnation notes blend to create a light rose note. The scent is dry and airy. Peppery spices are subdued but keep things dry. There are light and breezy hints of wood, and an airy note which sometimes suggests mint and other times freshly-cut paper. This light style is unusual for traditional Serge Lutens, perhaps part of the nouvelle vague of that house.
15th December, 2015

L'Orpheline by Serge Lutens

Interesting. This scent is difficult to analyze. It is subtle and not too sweet -- atypical for SL.
Starts fresh and clean. Green? Minty-herbal? Perhaps that's the fougere accord. Aldehydes bump everything up a bit.
Settles into a warm scent with hints of wood and perhaps spice.
Sits close to the skin. Perhaps there are incense notes lurking in the background.
Eventually, a soft and somewhat sweet patchouli note emerges. I just did a single spritz and so it is not oppressive, but I can imagine that with more application it might be troublesome.
Not quite to my taste, a little too soft and sweet. Not memorable, but pleasant in a quiet way.
13th December, 2015
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Chergui by Serge Lutens

Starts with a very brief, intensely sweet note. Quickly reveals a rich tobacco leaf and hay chord. The florals (first rose, later iris) are certainly evident.
One blog I read said that it suggested not a dry desert wind but the warm atmosphere of a Victorian gentleman's club. I agree. Tobacco, leathery chairs, and furniture polished by rosewood oil. A very masculine scent. Though once in a while I detect some delicious freshly baked sugar cookies on the sideboard.
Cool and warm as various notes alternate. The resin and incense notes persist. At times the incense suggests oud, but perhaps this is the ghostly iris note. No, I am convinced there is oud here.
Touch of honey but not sweet. Leathery, smoky dry-down.
A very complex scent! A dignified Oriental. I'm not big on Orientals, and this is still little sweeter than I like. But it is an excellent scent.
And worth revisiting.
06th December, 2015

À la Nuit by Serge Lutens

Not my style but I can see that this is a lovely scent.
Young, spring-like, innocent, sweet, definitely feminine. Very pretty florals balanced by a nice green note. Romantic and beautiful, really a charming scent. Light yet substantial, certainly not cloying or heavy.
06th December, 2015

Serge Nancel for Him by Serge Nancel

Serge Nancel was a French fashion design house. It is now defunct. The box of this perfume has the signature logo of the house, a sea-horse. And the bottle is in the shape of a tailor's mannequin.
The scent is an odd duck. Powerful and musky, yet with a peach note. Styled like an 80's scent with a heavy foundation but not very macho. Fairly sweet and heavy. Bit leathery due to the labdanum. The peach note is distinctive and persistent. Combines with a metallic, balsamic note. Don't get ANY wood here. There is zero resemblance to "Hinoki," if by that CdG's Hinoki was meant by another reviewer.
05th December, 2015

L'Eau des Collines Provence by Laboratoires Cadentia

This came in a large bottle (8.5 oz, 250 ml) for a very low price. So, given that it is acceptable, one could call this a good value scent.
Fresh and airy. I do get anise and herbal notes. A bit sweet but not heavy or problematic. Despite the listed notes, the scent is not complex. Essentially we have a somewhat fresh, slightly herbal chord sitting on a fresh musk base. At times, the latter has a slightly metallic tinge. Certainly unisex due to its mild sweetness.
28th November, 2015

Santal Majuscule by Serge Lutens

Not my style but pleasant. Soft, gentle, romantic.
Hints of rose/floral, wood, and cocoa. A rather subdued scent. Thankfully not cloyingly sweet or rich, as are some SL scents.
26th November, 2015

Luna Rossa Sport by Prada

Sweet and spicy. Everything smells rather synthetic and quickly gets tiresome. Smells like fresh laundry detergent with a sugar cookie lurking in the background. A unisex scent rather than masculine.
24th November, 2015

La Religieuse by Serge Lutens

Nothing offensive about this scent. A rather tame offering, pleasant but hardly outstanding. The title and the advert puffery suggest a sacred/profane contrast, a thrilling revelation of the uninhibited beneath the demure. Nothing of the sort.
The purple-grey colour is a bit odd, suggesting violet although none is listed or appears evident. The florals are lovely (jasmine and mimosa), rich and naturally sweet. None of the indolic nature of jasmine at any point. Incense? Perhaps, of a synthetic sort emulating myrrh's languid qualities. No coniferous frankincense here.
I kept waiting for the scent to develop its "naughty" side. It never did. It just faded away into a sweet and slightly boring floral.
21st November, 2015

Green Jeans by Versace

If you like oregano, you'll like this. If not, you won't. :)
Starts with a bright citrus-green note which is quite refreshing. The grapefruit is so lively and green it suggests lime.
Quickly the oregano note develops and becomes prominent. It is dusky, soapy, herbal. To some, it would suggest salad dressing but I like it.
Hint of wood in the dry-down, and very mild moss. Not much in the way of conifers.
Acceptably dry and pleasant.
I'd say this is in the neighbourhood of Pino Silvester, probably smoother and not as dry or macho.
Pretty bottle.
17th November, 2015

Jaïpur Homme Limited Edition by Boucheron

Tolerable. The top notes look wretched (to my taste): aquatic, melon and clove. The fact that I don't detest the scent means that these notes are very mild (or attenuated). Spices -- sorta. Amber and vanilla -- not really noticeable. Actually, the scent throughout (based on its specs) should be ghastly (to my taste). So, what is it for me?
A mild, vaguely "fresh" scent, light and inoffensive. That's about it.
15th November, 2015

Oud Save The King by Atkinsons

Not my style. I have no objection to oud, but I couldn't really find it here. What I did find was a soft, sweet leather -- the suede. And then a creamy vanilla note which I suppose is meant to be sandalwood.
I find the scent much too sweet and one-dimensional. Its sweetness becomes cloying and quite irritating for me.
15th November, 2015

Sir Canada Cedar by Sir

Reviewing the after-shave lotion.
Simple, pleasant. Spicy, woody, clean/soapy.
Definitely old-school: a bit perfumey, a bit sweet -- but not problematic.
Not tremendously woody.
Vintage, probably from '60's, discontinued.
15th November, 2015

Uomo Black by Malizia

"Vetiver, sandalwood" does not describe this scent -- or I would say are misleading. The scent does not feature either of those notes (as far as I can tell).
This is a [B]very[/B] sweet, loud scent. It smells cheap and suggests "elevator guy" in big flashy letters. Faux spices and wretched musk.
No redeeming qualities here.
A shame, since I like Malizia Vetyver. Uomo Black does not belong in the same category.
11th November, 2015

Chatoyant by Rouge Bunny Rouge

Well, this certainly isn't my style. It is very sweet, very floral, very pretty and girly-young.
I don't understand the appeal of such a very sweet scent. I find such sweetness almost immediately irritating, and time does not improve my opinion.
Starts with a lemon candy note. Followed by rich florals, and hints of a coconut-like note. Concludes with soft musk and vanilla, a bit gourmand perhaps. No wood in evidence.
This may appeal to some -- I realize that my thumbs-down is my subjective reaction to this scent.
10th November, 2015

Allegria by Rouge Bunny Rouge

This is pretty good. Marketed as "feminine", but it is dry enough to easily be unisex and worn by guys.
The product information lists "mint natah" rather than spearmint.

Starts with a light fruit chord. Citrus and red fruit, maybe a hint of green apple. Lots of herbal and grassy notes appear. Basil and mint, clearly. Leafy plants. Suggests a dewy garden in the early morning sun. Quite green! Light and translucent. Dry-down is a bit nutty (from the hawthorne blossom perhaps, which has an almond-like quality). Light musk. An attractive, spring-like scent.
10th November, 2015

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