Perfume Reviews

Reviews by odysseusm


Sugi by Comme des Garçons

I've tried this several times in a store. Each time I get a somewhat different take on it -- yet it never seems bottle-worthy to me.
First of all -- don't be distracted by the lemon-yellow colour. No citrus notes listed or to be found.
My beef is this: no coniferous notes. Where are the cypress and pine?
It mostly focuses on a peppery, mineral, rubbery note. Now, this isn't bad, and it is consistent with some other CdG forays into the industrial realm.
Longevity is poor.
Nothing remarkable here.
30th June, 2015

Replica At the Barber's by Martin Margiela

I give this a somewhat perplexed thumbs-up.
It is a pleasant scent, and due to its restraint it achieves a mildly classy tone.
It successfully conveys a barbershop vibe, having soapy, mildly spicy, very low-key leather and musk notes.
Why do I have some equivocation on this? Well, it reminds me of a lot of drugstore aftershave balms, with their mildly spicy and gentle musk notes. I used to like that scent, in fact in my much younger days that WAS the scent I wore, and that alone.
So, this scent successfully re-creates that and makes it as good as it can be. Is that your cup of tea? It is no longer mine, but as I say there is nothing objectionable about the scent per se. More the concept, perhaps, and the associations.
Green, simple opening. Some very mild herbs but I couldn't identify them as basil. Don't get any lavender at all. I guess that the spice is coriander.
A "guy" scent for guys who like "guy" scents. :)
30th June, 2015

APOM pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Don't like it.
Very little orange blossom (a note I like).
Too much ylang-ylang (a note I don't like) and amber (which I also don't like).
Starts with a very spicy, peppery powder note. If there is orange blossom here I've missed it entirely. Powerful, assertive. Wood is background.
Don't over-apply this. Even one spritz and I find it quickly becomes loud, thin, metallic and unpleasant. You could be become the "elevator guy" with too much of this.
Hints of vanilla -- bleh.
Ylang-ylang here is sweet, a syrupy floral. Meh.
Scrubbed it off.
29th June, 2015
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Coup de Foudre by Delrae

I think this is a charming, lovely scent. It is in a feminine style (pretty florals) so it isn't something I would wear. However, I can certainly appreciate it.
The rose and peony notes are very well done, realistic and attractive. The overall vibe of the scent is of a Spring garden. Green notes lurk in the background. The florals are delicate and graceful, not at all sweet or heavy.
28th June, 2015

Florabellio by Diptyque

If you like sweet fruity scents, then you may see the appeal of this one. I don't.
I think it is a trainwreck, from a usually reliable house.
Starts VERY sweet, and then develops a tinny, shrill and screechy aspect. The fruit note is nasty, heavy and persistent. Odd toasty notes add to the jumble.
When things get sorted a bit, I can detect a liquorice (fennel) sort of note which isn't bad. At this point the scent is now green... but still too sweet to be bearable.
Rushing to scrub it off...
20th June, 2015

Plains of Thistle by Royal Apothic

The concept is attractive -- a plain of scrubby plants and thistle on a wind-swept moor. The list of notes looks OK. But the scent is marketed as feminine, and not listed on the online material (but on the box) is a PEACH note. This is quite apparent, and oddly out of place. Scent becomes too sweet to suit me.
20th June, 2015

Eau de 34 by Diptyque

A very successful flanker, and legitimate in its own right.
Comparing this one's notes to 34 blvd St. Germain, we see more citrus, a bit less spice, and less floral.
The citrus notes give a gentle and lovely (rather than crisp) opening. Indeed, "gentle" will be a theme here. The spices are a gentle blend. The scent is clean, clear, attractive and more unisex in style than 34 blvd SG. The geranium note here is compelling -- a soapy green rose sort of note. The scent overall is well executed, restrained and elegant. The dry-down settles into a chypre style, hints of patchouli with a certain tang but not overdone.
20th June, 2015

34 Boulevard Saint Germain by Diptyque

A lovely, opulent scent. Billed as unisex but perhaps more feminine in style. Sweet but not cloying, rich but not heavy.
Spices are well done and appear early. The floral heart is very attractive and combines the various notes successfully, creating a fresh, beautiful chord. The finale is attractive, hinting at woods and resins.
20th June, 2015

Big Sur by Juniper Ridge

This is a powerful, assertive, masculine scent.
Note that Juniper Ridge forages its raw materials and renders its oils. Thus it is likely that batches will vary from year to year. This is batch 2104-5, purchased in 2014. I say this because looking at this year's product on the website, the bottle is different (cylinder rather than flask) and the notes listed are different.

Has a slightly salty opening, but the main and fairly enduring feature is a HIGHLY camphoraceous note. Brisk, substantial, quite medicinal in style. I like it -- but be warned! Hint of rubber and smoke. Bay-leaf emerges, with a green and dusky style. Scrubby vegetation (the chaparral) is suggested, and hints of sage (another dusky note) appear.

It is a big ol' scent, and not afraid to throw its weight around. Quite distinctive, and certainly conveys a very natural vibe.
19th June, 2015 (last edited: 20th June, 2015)

Yuba River by Juniper Ridge

I will give a thumbs-up to just about anything by Juniper Ridge. Their products are so natural and uncompromising.
Yuba River is something I can appreciate but I don't find it bottle-worthy. There is something which is like a fruity note. It isn't a fruity note, but I don't have anything else to compare it with. The wood and conifers are good, and the scent is pleasant and wears well. The seeming-fruit note is perhaps like freshly-crushed green juniper branches. I can only suggest trying it and seeing what you think. It is less medicinal and challenging than some of the other JR line.
18th June, 2015

Toji by OLO

Those expecting a polite, citrusy EdC are in for a surprise! This is BIG, bold, smoky and intriguing.
It has a very brief citrus opening. Arguably, this could be sustained and developed more.
It almost immediately develops a smoky, even slightly rubbery note. Pleasant and intriguing, and not too big. Woody notes emerge. The hinoki and cedar are well done, and the dry-down is pleasant and slightly haunting.
The scent is meant to suggest a Japanese hot tub in the open air, with yuzu fruit floating in a hinoki tub with cedar bathmats nearby.
This is an oil-based scent, in roll-on format.
08th June, 2015

Cologne Intense Collection : Incense & Cedrat by Jo Malone

This is an adequate incense scent -- no problems here. More substantial than the usual JM scents. It is a woody oriental in style. The opening is quite good: dry, citrus-pepper and an excellent frankincense note. If it stayed at that, I would be very pleased. However, the scent slides into a richer, fuzzier and slightly sweeter conclusion. It loses the amazingly brisk, invigorating coniferous note of the frankincense. But many will enjoy this, and it is a mainstream entry into the good incense style.
07th June, 2015

Victory Wolf by OLO

This review is based solely on a shop sniff.
No surprise -- the birch tar gives this a very smoky note, and the tobacco is a rich note. This is a big, masculine scent. Not my style but well done, in the Slumberhouse mode.
07th June, 2015
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Forêt by OLO

This review is based solely on my memory of a shop sniff.
Given the ingredients of Forêt, I thought I would like it. It isn't a bad scent, but it didn't grab me. It seemed a bit heavy and didn't wear well on my skin. Didn't seem as coniferous as I expected it to be -- more woody.
07th June, 2015

Millésime Impérial by Creed

This is a pleasant, distinctive scent. It successfully achieves a sea-side note, while avoiding the overly-fresh "aquatic" or marine notes typical of this genre.
The beginning is a bold citrus fruit note with a background of salty tang. It is pleasing, conveying an image of a refreshing green breeze.
The lemon notes deepen. The bergamot gets a bit plummy and one wonders if the scent will "go south". Thankfully, it remains on the side of good decorum. Dusky iris and a light musk provide a cool backdrop. Not much wood. The marine note at this point is just OK -- acceptable and not harsh or synthetic.
The dry-down several hours later is attractive, cool, briny and low-key.
07th June, 2015

Le Jardin de Monsieur Li by Hermès

A mild thumbs up here.
Starts with a pleasant, pretty citrus note - orange.
Dry pepper and mineral notes like wet stones emerge. This makes it seem rather similar to Terre d'Hermes, though not as bold.
The dry-down is hard to identify. Sap? Green juice from leaves? A note that's a bit nutty (like sesame seeds) at times.
Nothing outstanding here but OK.
25th May, 2015

Wood Sage & Sea Salt by Jo Malone

When its good there isn't enough of it, and when its bad there's too much.
The citrus and sage is green and refreshing but VERY faint.
For a long time, the scent develops an odd, buttery smell. Sort of like movie popcorn with the "butter" topping. I don't care for it.
The base is really blah. A vague, soapy-detergent smell.
04th May, 2015

Rock the Ages : Birch & Black Pepper by Jo Malone

I'm not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, I appreciate its dry, woody tone. On the other hand, the wood note has an aspect that I can't quite understand.
The scent is very peppery, quite woody, and dry. It is translucent and sheer, yet at the same time substantial. Like many JM scents, it is meant to be layered or worn in combination with others of their line, and to add a particular note (here, wood and pepper) to the mix. So far, so good.
But that woody note is a bit odd. At times it reminds me of freshly-laundered towels, warm out of the drier, at other times fresh white paper. Still other times it has a slightly sweet spicy note like cardamom or even the chord known as cashmere. Unusual, and slightly "fresh."
Perhaps this all is the birch. I'd say this is not birch tar, which typically has a very heavy, smoky note. Perhaps it is birch sap. But it doesn't have the lemony tang we see in Cartier's Declaration.
Good longevity.
27th April, 2015

Eau de Cartier : Vétiver Bleu by Cartier

Starts off very sweet and fairly spicy. Too sweet for me. The vetiver is quite forceful and has longevity.
I find something a bit synthetic here. Wouldn't have guess liquorice was in the notes, I thought of a kind of berry-fruit note. Similarly, the mint is more in the fresh/aquatic vein than the green-leafy. Not a terrible scent, just so-so.
26th April, 2015

Wald by Euphorium Brooklyn

This is an intriguing and very complex scent. I note different things in it each time I try it. I don't find it bottle-worthy, but that is a matter of my personal taste. It is an attractive and well-crafted scent.
The juice is a brilliant emerald green, and has a viscous quality (at least that is the case for what's in the little sample vial).
I find three different phases.
1. Woodsy, coniferous, forest-floor. A dark green scent to match the colour of the juice. Mint and conifer notes, even something like eucalyptus. Rather camphoraceous. Frankincense-green and resinous. Ahhh, if the scent would only stay at this phase I'd be delighted.
2. Gradually the scent shifts. First, the brisk notes smooth out. Complex and shifting notes emerge, like a Kaleidoscope. Artemesia (nutty celery leaf, minty). Maple syrup (a bit rich and honeyed). Cool notes, slightly sweet and earthy.
3. The scent settles into a smoky-leather foundation. Somewhat animalic, a bit macho or at least very self-assured. A beautiful leather-smoke note, reminding me of Dior's Jules. And here is my challenge. I can appreciate the chord, but I am not suited to leather scents. I grow tired of them and they don't suit me.
Still, there is much to appreciate here.
23rd April, 2015

Anabasis by Apoteker Tepe

Just neutral on this. It should be much more than it is. The blurb on the AT website says, "Our Anabasis is adventurous and mysterious, bringing the scent of Eastern herbs wafting through a forest of cedar and pine." So I was expecting a garrigue style scent, lovely herbs mixed with coniferous notes.
This is an adequate and very restrained incense-wood scent. That's it. It unfolds in three distinct stages.
1. Citrus and very light herbs. Pleasant but astonishingly brief, 2-3 seconds. The citrus barely registers and the herbs are feeble.
2. Woody notes. These shift, at times pleasant and at other times like wet particleboard. A bit of mint gives a soapy, slightly fresh aspect here. Not like toothpaste, thankfully. No pine in sight.
3. Light musk and woody incense. The best part of a rather weak offering. This is incense for the timid and shy. Sits very close to the skin. Very faint, despite several applications.
16th April, 2015

Bowmakers by D.S. & Durga

Lovely, superb! A wood-lover's delight.
Great wood and resinous notes. Dry but smooth, very pleasant to wear.
A treasure chest of wood notes, and quite focused in that regard. Some conifers appear (likely from the cypress) and these are bright and energizing. Like CdG Hinoki but not as austerely challenging. Bit of a rubber note, typical of some cedar (e.g., Siskyou). Some moss along with the wood in the dry-down.
Exceeded my recommendations. Recommended.
14th April, 2015

Tobacco Oud by Tom Ford

If you like the tobacco note and scents on the sweet side, you should give this a try.
On me, the tobacco leaf dominates the oud -- no mean feat. I'm not a particular fan of tobacco but I can see that this is a very fine note for its type. The oud is strictly secondary and doesn't last long. The scent is quite sweet, with the coumarin adding its usual honeyed, hay-like note. Hint of wood but nothing substantial.
Not a bad scent. If it could have been less sweet I might have even found it intriguing. And a bit more oud would have given it oomph.
A rather safe, not particularly daring rendering.
12th April, 2015

Champaca Absolute by Tom Ford

An amiable floral. Rose leads the pack, with other flowers of indeterminate type. Hint of soapiness. Not overtly sweet or heavy. In fact, I found it rather restrained, and therefore not especially noteworthy.
12th April, 2015

Winter by Dasein

Why? On me, the cardamom dominates and wipes out the coniferous and lavender notes. Caradmom is a nice, aromatic spice in itself. But it wasn't why I sought out this scent. The note gives a foody aspect. And this I find a bit hackneyed -- it is possible to walk through a cool forest without munching on Christmas cake.
Conifers are brief, acceptable but not outstanding. Lavender is also acceptably camphoraceous but that too is brief.
The scent is not terrible, it is cool and spicy at the same time.
It has no suggestion of anything green in it.
12th April, 2015

Chypre Mousse (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

In my opinion, a disaster.
Looking at the notes, I expected an amazing, green, herbal brew. I thought some of the end notes might evoke a Sienne En Hiver vibe.
Soapy, plasticine, sweet, chocolate.
Not green in any sense, form, or aspect.
The chestnut does emerge, and a hint of leather.
Seems to evoke a strange, artificial, alien aura -- nothing of the natural world here.
Unpleasant to wear at the beginning, and it gets sweeter and weirder as the moments tick by. Scrubbed it off.
11th April, 2015

Relique d'Amour (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

I admire the lyricism of the reviews to date. My impressions are more prosaic.

First, and problematically -- I get NO pine, incense, woods or pepper. None. Thus, much of my interest in the scent takes a left turn.

Second, what I do get is a beautiful lily scent. As others have noted, it is quite realistic and rather charming. Certainly the scent is feminine in style.
It starts with a nanosecond of herbs. The lily note is a clean, white floral, a bit soapy. Charming and spring-like, I don't see anything melancholy here. The scent is young in style.
"Cold stones"? Maybe. Or perhaps a cool, powdery and somewhat soapy chord, like Ivory bar soap.
"Waxed wood"? Emphasis is on the wax.
So if you want a charming, spring-like lily scent, this is for you. Sits close to the skin.
10th April, 2015

Silvan by Rouge Bunny Rouge

This gets a neutral because (for me) it is just ok, not compelling.
Citrus/pepper and wood/incense quickly appear, pretty much simultaneously. A bit smoky once in while, but only a bit. It is a pleasant woody-incense scent, though in my opinion not green in any sense. So the name "Silvan" refers to a woody forest, not a green forest. The scent is very mild and restrained -- light incense, light pepper. Nothing to offend here, but nothing particularly new or striking. A good, basic scent. And some may not want anything more powerful, so for those I say check it out.
09th April, 2015

L'Eau du Caporal by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I can compare the recent re-issue with the vintage version.

NEW - Starts with good citrus note, quickly moves to herbal (like tarragon, marjoram) and minty notes. The mint is well done, not like toothpast or peppermint candy. Rather, it is green, leafy, with a hint of lemon zest and rather herbal in style. Cool, even a bit camphor-like, the latter could be from the lavender. Very refreshing. Hints of grassy vetiver and salty oakmoss appear. Dry (not sweet), substantial but not heavy, wears well. Has an intriguing, even haunting quality. The dry-down has a salty mossy note and retains the herbal mint. Overall, a very successful reformulation.

VINTAGE - A bit greener at the beginning, and the lavender is stronger. The scent is more powerful at this point: a bit sweeter, denser, richer. Not as herbal-minty at first -- rounder and more full. The dry-down lands in a very similar place to the new version.

So, I find that I appreciate both but actually prefer the new version. I like its dry, haunting, herbal quality.
06th April, 2015

Boss the Collection: Damask Oud by Hugo Boss

Not bad! Peppery-incense from the get-go. The leather/suede note also engages immediately. Actually, this reminds me a bit of SMN Nostalgia, with the leather, wood and petrol note. Petrol here being supplied by oud. Just the thing for tooling around in your Jaguar with the knurled wood interior.
Not my style but I am sure many would like it. Not excessively sweet. Powerful, so I'd say apply with caution.
05th April, 2015