Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 137415

Spicebomb Extreme by Viktor & Rolf

Extremism in
Defense of beauty is so
Spice. Wood. Fig. Saffron.
17th August, 2017

Superstitious by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Genre: Floral

I’ve taken my time reviewing Superstitious. It’s a big, ambitious fragrance by a prodigiously talented nose, and I’ve felt the need to wear it several times in order to acquaint myself with it sufficiently for an accurate description and a fair assessment. In overall style, Superstitious is a great, big aldehydic floral composition, the likes of which has not been done often since the 1970s or 1980s – maybe even the 1950s. It opens with a powerful blast of aldehydes, which resemble nothing so much as hairspray. These are quickly followed by an intense peach note. Next up are a potent rose and jasmine, and the four elements persist and combine in an angular, yet rich fruity/aldehydic floral accord of tremendous power and persistence. This central floral accord has underpinnings of vetiver, patchouli, and cinnamon, which together add a spicy-woody depth to the overall olfactory profile.

While unmistakably modern in its daring overdose of aldehydes, Superstitious can also feel decidedly retro in its sheer heft. It has the presence of a 1980s classic such as Knowing or Beautiful, and a structure, with its balanced blend of synthetics and naturals, that is classicizing in Ropion’s best manner. There’s an overall edginess to the composition, however, that keeps Superstitious from feeling dated.

All that said, Superstitious is a fragrance I can admire more than love. Partially, I have a hard time with how darn intrusive the stuff is. It practically enters the room moments before I do, and lingers a good ten minutes once I’ve left. There’s also something chemically abrasive to my nose about the drydown that I just can’t quite abide by, no matter how I try. Oh, and did I mention that Superstitious is powerful? This fragrance, in eau de parfum concentration, is every bit the equal of Giorgio, Poison, Opium, or Samsara, and I’ve yet to manage applying it lightly enough for an effect that reads less than a 9 on the Richter scale. I expect that many will love this scent, and that just as many will loathe it. Hey, at least it isn’t boring.
17th August, 2017

masculin Pluriel by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Genre: Fougère

Masculin Pluriel is a straightforward lavender-heavy fougère composition that dries down to a blend of patchouli and clean musk. There’s nothing complex or adventurous here, but there’s nothing to offend, either, and the lavender smells of quality. Still, I don’t find anything in Masculin Pluriel that would make me abandon, say, Caron pour un Homme or Vero Kern’s Kiki when I’m in the mood for lavender. Then of course, for a really interesting lavender, there's always Antonio Gardoni's remarkable MEM. But that's another, much longer, review...
17th August, 2017
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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Essences Insensées 2016 (Rose) by Diptyque

This is a rose fragrance from beginning to emended through and through. It opens with a gorgeous centifolia aroma, a rose in full bloom, intense, with just a delightful modicum of natural sweetness. Delicious.

Whilst this is indubitably a soliflore composition, there is still some development occurring with time. The rose becomes a bit lighter, and whiffs of the leaves and the wood of the stems shine through, although this remains a rose blossom creation at heart.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A delightful rose scent for day and nighttime in spring, composed of high-quality ingredients executed well. Whilst a tad linear and lacking vivaciousness and depth at times, it is still a lovely gift for rose lovers. 3.5/5.
16th August, 2017

Oud Rouge Intense by Fragrance Du Bois

Okay, it smells a bit like Creed's Royal Oud. But it smells deeper and better. It feels less synthetic and more natural for sure. Oud is not prominent, it's more like a musky, wooden, peppery, patchouli fragrance. Oud may contribute to the depth, though, and the oud is well balanced and not of the sharp kind. Rather masculine I would say. I like it.
16th August, 2017

Sahraa Oud by Fragrance Du Bois

This feels like an amber focused fragrance with soft florals and perhaps some balsamic or incense elements with a round oud in the base. The oud is soft like in the other fragrances of the line, no offensive oud here. Unisex
16th August, 2017

Immortal Beloved by YS Uzac

This smells like a boozy sweet eggy pudding when it goes on. I await developments...
It's bread and butter pudding! This may not sound like a fine fragrance note but it's delicious. It's not sugary sweet and has a big round booze and woods feeling to it. Good for an evening scent, and not like anything I can think of offhand, but also not in any way odd or edgy. It's very comfortable, and I'd imagine is great in winter.
As it progresses it loses the sweetness and is a dry wood with something of an old book lined study about it.
15th August, 2017
JaimeB Show all reviews
United States

Patchouli Intense / Patchouli Homme by Nicolaï

I received a 15 ml. travel size of Patchouli Intense as an extra when I purchased a another 100 ml. Nicolaï. It is a bit strange, but in my opinion, wonderful blend. The ingredients seem to work both with and against each other in a curious development. As soon as the top notes begin to fade and the bay rum note kicks in this transformation begins. This is not the bay leaf that goes into soups and stews, but a much sharper, somewhat camphor-like note usually only found in Bay Rum colognes. In a sense, it's the monkey wrench in the mix, but it also provides a crucial bridge into the dry-down along with the soon-to-follow cinnamon and patchouli. When incense and vanilla make their appearance, the whole show is on the road. The bay oil retains its linch-pin position to the end, but as the top notes fade further away, it sets up a new and equally pleasing impression with the base notes.

Some people my find this a stretch, but I think any fragrance fan can appreciate the artistry and bold stroke that it represents. The more Nicolaï creations I get to know, the more my admiration for the artistry of this house grows. I've visited their Rue de Richelieu store on two different trips to Paris, and their personnel are very kind, knowledgeable, and welcoming. Rumor has it the basement there is the location of their laboratory. Intriguing... As always, it's an advantage to speak French if you can...
15th August, 2017

Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

I do not really enjoy wearing this one. There something interesting in the smell that keeps me from giving it a thumbs down. I imagine I might like the smell coming from someone else. On me, it's too much, and not pleasant. It's sort of a slightly-burnt caramel smell, with something such as the listed balsam fir note mixed in.
15th August, 2017

Oud Ispahan by Christian Dior

Stardate 20170815:

Synthetic oud with some roses. Well done.
Oud is barnyardy.
Nothing original here but the blending and balance is good. Perhaps a bit too pricey at retail prices.
15th August, 2017

Velvet Vetiver by Dolce & Gabbana

Nice pleasant vetiver with sweet undertones. The sweetness lends itself to the unisex side of things. The initial 15 minutes or so reminds me of a weaker version of The Goodlife by Davidoff. The dry down is nice clean vetiver. Not overbearing although it does last about 8 hours on me with 2 sprays. Enjoyable? Yes... Overpriced? Yes... Try before you buy. Enjoy!
15th August, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Eau Plurielle by Diptyque

The opening is as if I find myself transposed into the sunny landscape of green meadows, with the fragrance of freshly cut grass permeating the air most beautifully. Delightful it is indeed, this fresh and bright opening, which, combined with a very young ivy, has added spritzes of citrus added to it at times.

Later on a rose impression is added , but even her the green leafy parts of the rose are in the foreground.

At times as fruity undertone develops, which over time mixes with the woodsy notes that is the hallmark of the later stages of this perfum's development. By now the green freshness of the top notes is toned down considerably, and the woodsy side, with a touch of white musk added in, is dominant until the end.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

The wonderful green freshness of this summer spring scent is a beauty. It reminds me a bit of Geoffrey Beene's Bowling Green, only lighter and a bit more elegant. Whilst it lacks some the crispness and fruitiness of L'Ombre dans l'Eau, the similarity cannot be denied. It is a bit linear at times, but nonetheless is is a lovely addition to the stable of this impressive house. 3.5/5.
15th August, 2017

Legend by Montblanc

Unlike some other reviewers of Legend, I like the dry down over the opening notes. Silvery, polished, oceanic, ozonic - its a very well done fragrance that is in a similar style as Versace Homme Eau Fraiche or an aquatic version of Bleu de Chanel. In fact if Bleu de Chanel were to make an "Aquatic" version it might smell like this one. Opening notes have a synthetic and over done hard brightness that causes some repulsion, but as the scent progresses the complementary notes leave behind a soft oceanic minty ghost presence that is the common theme woven throughout. Legend becomes a skin scent but a very long lasting skin scent. The body spray is also good and this scent is very appropriate for a water based all over body spray cleanliness.
15th August, 2017
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Back to Black by By Kilian

Fruity honeyed tobacco with a good dose of powder...not bad...I had a decant that I enjoyed wearing , but not enough to invest in any the same ballpark as Tobacco Vanille , Herod , Pure Havane and Naxos...actually probably the closest is So Oud Asmar which I did like enough to grab a full bottle...but as always , sample and let your own nose decide what you like...does get more and more pleasing as it dries down...
15th August, 2017

Grand Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

A basic, soft, warm, sweet fragrance; likable, wearable. I'm grateful they kept it simple. It could be worth paying a premium to have a fragrance not trying too hard. The listed notes sound right, mostly benzoin, a nice, simple clean one, typically sweet.

The contrast in my experience with this compared to my typical impressions of this house, niche in general, and ClaireV's experience are striking - I really liked this, as in enough to consider buying a bottle and wearing it often, a rarity for me for any non-vintage fragrance.

The rough synth edge Claire mentions affects me in most modern fragrances, yet I didn't get it from Grand Soir. I got a surprisingly light dose of synthetic woods, a playful splash of the stuff that was undetectable without really sniffing it out on skin, and that was overwhelmed by an unrelenting agreeableness and lightly sweet roundness in beige tones.
14th August, 2017 (last edited: 15th August, 2017)

Fabien Absolute by Henry Jacques

Absolutely Beautiful Fougere Chypre. Do you remember Loewe pour homme?

Violets make the fragrance sparkly initially along with bergamot and mandarin. Oud & Indian geranium gradually turn the experience woodier but retaining a green herbal quality. The drydown is a woody mossy masculine affair where the fragrance shines like no other due to its top quality ingredients.

I think I have finally found my signature fragrance...

Triple Thumbs up!
14th August, 2017 (last edited: 15th August, 2017)

Jacomo de Jacomo Original by Jacomo

Stardate 20170814:

Vintage Blue Label Version:

Yes it is an aromatic fougere.
Yes it has Spices and Patchouli
Yes it is from 80s.

But do not be fooled, it is nothing like typical 80s aromatic fougere.
The blending is exceptional and you get this dark brooding incensey masterpiece.
Smoke without the dryness.

It may be the one that started it all. One can see its influence on Montana, Smalto, Nobile, Salvador Dali PH.
Get it while it is still cheap.
14th August, 2017

al03 by Biehl Parfumkunstwerke

Stardate 20170814:

A very nice leathery fragrance. Very similar in style to Puredistance M, BelAmi, Moschino PH.
Not as good but they are trying.
14th August, 2017

Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf

The almost smells of
Some almost holiday are
Almost real genius.
14th August, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Aël-Mat by Lostmarc'h

A bright fresh and summery bergamot-based heliotropic opening blast greets me; it is as if a ray of sunshine escaped this pretty bottle. A slightly fruit undertone of berries, peach and hints of pear does not distract from the brightness of the top notes overall.

In the drydown the marine character comes alive: a pleasant and crisp saltiness that is mixed with a touch of jasmine and whisps of cardamom. The base adds a subtle vanilla that adds more depth without taking away from the lightness and elegance of the whole.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

A fresh summer scent that captures bright and sunny days in the seaside in a most uplifting way. Limited performance but blended very well. 3.5/5.
14th August, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Prada La Femme by Prada

A clean, pleasant inoffensive white floral. I just wish that the Prada rep who pushed this on me while I was looking for the Chanel counter had been equally pleasant and inoffensive.

It's very pretty on the card. A muted tuberose and laundry musk to my nose.

I'll try it again at some point on my skin, when I am not being hounded.
14th August, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Fougère : Ambre & Lavande by Accord Parfait

Warm amber is the core note from ththe beginning. It is round, soft and pleasant, and lacks any significant harshness.

This persists long into the drydown, and after a while a lavender is added, blending in very nicely. This lavender also also is warm, soft and with little green characteristics. Occasionally, wihiffs if a restrainedly woodsy undertone are present too.

The sillage is moderate, the projection very good, and the longevity splendid at close to eleven hours.

This composition is agreeable and warm, perfect for autumn overall. A bit simple, is is crafted well nonetheless. 3/5
13th August, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Zen by Oud Milano

A clean and fairly bright while floral mix determines the top notes - some muguet is there, and soon I get a gentle rose notes and, further down the track, a light and pleasant tuberose with virtually no waxiness.

There is a bright-ish modern powderiness to this overall very smooth composition, which is never overly sweet on me.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

This house originally focused on cosmetics and body milks, and their first fragrances show that heritage. Smooth, nigh milky and not really strong, this spring creation is quite restrained, but it is not too generic and shows some development. Restrained and hence good for the office for someone who likes their scents discreet. Their shop in London's Oxford Street is very friendly and helpful. 3/5.
13th August, 2017

Shooting Stars: Oroville by Xerjoff

A refined and rather gentlemanly fragrance centered around a dusty, mildly aromatic tobacco leaf paired exceedingly well with herbaceous galbanum. Supporting this stellar partnership is the soapy touch of neroli and a nuanced if indistinguishable floral accord.

I perfectly understand the reservations some
may hold for this polite fragrance but if you're a fan of Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac, this is one you should not miss. Drydown could be better but it is common among most Xerjoffs - it seems to be the house's Achilles heel.

Some years ago I won a prize on BN - to pick one Xerjoff Shooting Star or Casamorati for free. As much as I enjoy Nio and Mefisto, Oroville was my choice. Once in a while you may fancy a blingy smoking jacket. Most times however a crisp understated navy is all you need. Oroville is a similarly astute wardrobe investment. It needs no embellishments.
13th August, 2017

Royal Oud by Creed

Stardate 20170812:

Dry dry wood. I don't smell oud. Dry down is a bit better as the sweetness of SW and powder comes through killing the dry woods. But too little too late.
Nothing Royal or sophisticated about it and no oud.
For people who like dry woods this is worth a try.
I will pass.
Neutral to thumbs down.
12th August, 2017

No. 5 L'Eau by Chanel

Quintessence of eau.
Ylangdehyde absolute.
'Flection's rare 'Fraction.
12th August, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Ishtar by Oud Milano

This is essentially a white-floral mix. Fairly bright, this is quite nonspecific, but a touch is muguet is a part of the mix.

There is a slightly citrus-lemon undertone present that adds freshness; at times whiffs of a very restrained miky flavor are also evident. Touches of geranium round it off.

I get very soft sillage, limited projection and four hours of longevity on my skin.

Conceptually this might not be bad as a very discreet spring scent. Apart from it being a very linear creation and a bit too generic, it is the ultra-poor performance that is the main drawback here: in spite of liberal application, this is and remains a skin scent that, from beginning to the end, is extremely close to my skin. 2.5/5.
12th August, 2017

Aura by Thierry Mugler

Angel muse with a fleeting green accord at the start. Very nice!

Lovely Green heart shaped bottle.

Thumbs up!
11th August, 2017

222 by Le Galion

Totally unisex, borderline masculine. A creamy, soft sandalwood scent with a sweet leather undertone. There are many excellent options in this category, such as Bois des Iles on the more powdery end, and Wonderwood or Tam Dao on the dry side, but this is a welcome addition to the club. Well done woody composition.
11th August, 2017

Special for Gentlemen by Le Galion

Surprising evolution. It starts out smelling intensely herbal and medicinal, almost like Sambuca. This lasts about 20 minutes, then it does an about face and becomes a more typical powdery-spice traditional masculine oriental/leather.

It smells very nice and the quality is high, so it gets a thumbs up, but it competes with some massive greats in this category, which can be had be had at a much better price - such as Eau d'Hermes and Habit Rouge. To my nose, Special for Gentlemen falls somewhere between those two.
11th August, 2017