Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 135548
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Cinnabar by Estée Lauder

Review of the original Eau de Parfum:

A peachy-peary fruity start is given a spiciness as if boiled in a spice soup for several hours. A cautious but definite addition of aldehydic undertones add some sparks such as to prevent is from being all too dark.

In the head notes sweetness arisies, a mix of a rich and scrumptious cinnamon that is never too thick or cloying. This is nicely combined with a rich ylang-ylang, and this dyadic partners work together exceedingly well. Jasmine - with a touch of verdant vibrations - is present too.

A pleasant tanginess leads into the base, and it turns out to be derived from clove with a well-placed component of some ambery orris. This turns into a gently crisp spiciness owing to an underlying layer of darkish patchouli. The ylang-ylang sweetness, however, stands its ground and is now fortified by a dense but not too heavy tonka impression.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a superb twelve hours of longevity on my skin.

A rich oriental and wintery creation, less heavy than Opium and never too overwhelming. This is well-blended out of ingredients of a very respectable quality. The aldehydic notes as well and the spicy-tangy aromas are incorporated in a very balanced fashion. At times it lacks vibrancy and can be a bit dull though. Overall 3.5/5.
24th May, 2017

Eau d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal

I am really on the fence with this one. One day I like it, the next, I don't hate it.

Once upon a time I was addicted to these little tins of candies. Sometimes I bought Cavendish & Harvey's. Other days it was La Vie Les Citrons. Piercing, screaming, little drops of sour lemon. This frag is the liquid version, incarnate.

24th May, 2017

Perfume Calligraphy Saffron by Aramis

Spiced floral-infused cookies without excessive sweetness. A recipe a wood nymph would hold secret. Indian summer in a bottle. An uncommon amalgamation of ingredients. I tend to seek out odd combinations, for my collection of scents. I chose wisely, here.

Oriental. Spicy. Comforting.

24th May, 2017
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Eau de Cologne Impériale by Guerlain

I have never liked summers. Who wants to suffer soul-crushing heat and deathly brightness? In my defence - I have endured such torments in Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay and Phoenix. Let me be blunt and honest: I detest summers. Give me the lovely Chicago winter - any day.

There is a new wave of perfume wearers who demand that summers be defined by fresh perfumes that last through the day. There is a new wave of fresh perfumes on the market to quench the thirst. Most are neither fresh nor long lasting. Some are as bad as the Phoenix (insert city of choice) summers. Some go on well, before getting increasingly grating by the hour. A rare few are interesting - and, beautiful.

Then, what about the eau de colognes?

EdC Imperiale is one such eau de cologne. It is a simple love affair of limes, lemons, verbena, oranges and faint sweet woods - in that order. There is nothing to understand here, and it is meant to be loved. It is delightful and exquisitely refreshing, but as approachable as a traditional lemonade in the summer heat. Rather than a daily indulgence, one embraces it as an hourly ritual. The faint dry down lasts the best part of two hours, before one starts longing for it again.

Imperiale will clearly not move anyone pining for duration. But, does that matter? It smells natural, fresh, and is one of those little joys in the world of perfumes. Sometimes, short is sweet. Sometimes one is moved more by a wonderful short story than a gargantuan novel.

Imperiale, together with Cologne Sologne, is one of the best eau de colognes on the market.

4.5/5

(Notes:

1. Yes, I understand that Eau de Guerlain is just as good and lasts longer, but Imperiale is also very commonly found at half the price of Eau de Guerlain if one shops around a bit.

2. Recommendation - keep it the fridge in summers and enjoy!)
24th May, 2017

Jubilation 25 by Amouage

This one reminds me of Fidji by Guy Laroche. It's woody with a touch of citrus, on me. I detect tarragon, lemon, ylang, labdanum, frankincense, and vetiver. There is something else, different, I am not familiar with. Perhaps it is the davana note? My nose could not pick out any amber or musk. Everything blends nicely enough for my taste.
24th May, 2017

White Sandalwood by Nest

A basic winter scent, for me. Sandalwood with overtones of almond. Musk appears hours later. It smells a bit artificial but for some reason, I really enjoy this. It's like a fireplace in an old cabin. You know, the one nobody ever remembers to clean out every once in awhile?
24th May, 2017

Shalimar by Guerlain

One of the greatest scents in modern history. I've always owned this and always shall. My nose memory cannot tell the difference between vintage and modern. Nor, does it care. Not a scent for the timid. Deep, rich, velvety, and assertive...
23rd May, 2017

L'Eau de Tarocco by Diptyque

This is a spicy citrus scent I can live with! Most citrus perfumes almost burn my nose. I get a nice balance of orange, grapefruit, saffron, incense, and ginger. The cedar and a touch of rose, keep it from being too acrid. It takes my imagination to warm, far away places, at sunset.
23rd May, 2017

Silences by Jacomo

This smells bitter green, on me. It is very pungent for the first hour revealing very little floral nuances. I owned this scent in the late 80's I do not remember it being this sharp! After wearing a few hours I finally detect some rose and cedar, and it does mellow out quite a bit. In six hours time, a faint dance of jasmine and musk join the foray. I can see why this is discontinued. In comparison to today's fragrances this lacks character.
23rd May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder

Review of the Parfum:

The opening notes are a blend of bergamot, other citrus notes, a white floral components - mainly hyacinth and jasmine - and a green-grassy philodendron. The overall is an unusual and intriguingly verdant white floral mêlange that is very pleasant on my skin.

In the drydown the jasmine and the floral side gain in strength, and the lovely purity of these notes becomes increasingly clear. In a manner somewhat unusual for this house, considerable restraint is exercised in the application of aldehydes, and there is very little that is tantamount to annoyingly synthetic emanations. Soft but elegantly intensive, and very well executed.

The base continues these themes, but has little to add apart from somewhat nonspecific woodsy undertones. The floral notes are still present, and gradually this potpourri fades out very slowly, with the echoes of floral beauty on my skin the only remainders towards the end.

The sillage is moderate, the projection very good, and the longevity is an excellent ten hours on my skin, with the last couple of hours being very close to my skin.

This spring creation - a scent nice in the evening as well during daytime - is interesting in concept, the ingredients are mostly of good quality and the smooth blending is superb. The first half combines carefully primed originality with high levels of craftsmanship, whilst the base drops in creativity but is still of very acceptable quality. The base is the least inspiring part.

Overall not extraordinary brilliant but very nice, quite original and rather convincing in design and implementation. 3.5/5.
23rd May, 2017

Drôle de Rose by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This is an agreeable, powdery, floral perfume. The opening reminds me of a clean baby, fresh from the bath with warm skin projecting baby bath products. As it develops, the powder fades, and it becomes a more mature floral with the listed notes of rose, iris, and violet seeming plausible, especially violet, giving it a sweet, floral complexity. I've also seen almond and honey listed, which could be adding the edible-smelling aspect. Almond is tricky to pull off, and can go badly. Here, it could be the almond making this a little edgy in the development.
22nd May, 2017

Le Petit Grain by Miller Harris

A dry citrus-woody fragrance centred around the orange tree. I smell a crisp and natural scent of orange and petitgrain, with a touch of herbs, that evolves quickly to a dry, sheer accord of woods laced with a bit of moss. Very natural, high quality, and refreshing - however, definitely does not wear like an eau de parfum but more like a traditional EdC. Sillage is almost non-existent, and duration is around 3 hours on skin from a liberal application.

Alternatives would be other EdCs that are similar (Eau d'Orange Vert, Concentre d'Orange Vert) or different (EdCs from Guerlain, Hermes) or perhaps Terre d'Hermes which can be imagined to be an EdT reconstruction of the basic theme presented here.

2.5/5

(rating 3.5/5 if one ignores the price/concentration issues)
22nd May, 2017

Corsica Furiosa by Parfum d'Empire

I bought Corsica Furiosa a couple of years ago in LA, when I was staying down the road from Scent Bar. After an extended session of looking for the perfect bottle, I got this. I was looking for something cold, or flinty, or green. Well, I got cool and green. I've since decided that my fantasy of a 'flinty' scent will probably remain in the realms of dreams.

CF has a green which is sharp and somehow wild or weedy. I've read a lot of reviews talking of tomato leaf but that's not exactly what I get - we had tomato plants in a sunny room when I was a child and I love and would recognise the smell anywhere. What I smell here is more like a waft of weeds or gorse (green not flowers) on a hot dry day carried by the wind. There's also a citrus note that I love - sharp but not sweet. It's listed as lime, and it's absolutely lovely to see it done justice and not appearing with coconut!

It's definitely and uncompromisingly green, and all day I've been getting hits of sharp dusty shrub.
22nd May, 2017
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Essential by Lacoste

This is an extremely "zesty" juice to my nose that works perfectly in the spring and summer. Geared towards a younger demo IMO. Would be good as a weekend or casual scent. Nothing overbearing to my nose and will last about 3 or 4 hours on the skin. For the price it's ok to blind buy but if you are looking for something a little longer lasting try Frapin Passion Boisee. The Frapin in more expensive but overall better done.
22nd May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Sensuous Nude by Estée Lauder

A fruity opening - sweetish - with a slightly orangey undertone dominates the top notes.

The drydown some adds two main streams of development: (1) a floral side, with muguet being quite strong, combined with a bit of jasmine and a somewhat bland rose impression. (2) A concurrently developing coconut aroma, that gradually gains in exposure and lasts deep into the later phases. Both work quite well together.

The base adds - what a surprise! - vanilla again, which is not really a stroke of originality, combined with slightly honeyed woodsy accompaniments that fade out towards the end.

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

The major creative achievement of the spring scent is the unusual use of the coconut. The major drawback is the regrettably generic nature of the rather synthetic ingredients.

Nude? Certainly bare of any natural goodness. 2.5/5.
22nd May, 2017

Joy by Jean Patou

The Patou fragrances I've tried, Pour Homme, Pour Homme Prive, Eau de Patou, 1000, and Joy, have been fantastic. Joy is a big floral with plenty of character. I think it comes from a combination of the flower concentrates and a dash of animalics. I'm sampling from a pre-2000 version, I believe.

Looking at the listed notes, peach, jasmine, tuberose, musk, and civet sound right to me.
21st May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Modern Muse Le Rouge by Estée Lauder

A loud, artificial candy-raspberry-cum-blackberry lolly impression greets me, and it is not of the very pleasant type. Very generic, very unimpressive.

The drydown, not unexpectedly, shifts to the floral range, and after expecting another onslaught of laboratory fumes I was pleasantly disappointed: whilst the rose I am getting is rather pale and anaemic, there is a triad of jasmine and magnolia, with whiffs of oleander on its tail, which are, whilst still somewhat generic, synthetic and pedestrian, much more convincing and lack the unbalanced features of the top notes.

The base develops a slightly spicy undertone with an ambery side - this time there are ultra-generic notes - and a vanilla aroma that is agreeable but rather trite indeed.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a impressive nine hours of longevity on my skin.

A spring scent that alters between bluntly biochemical laboratory fakeness and phases of unexciting pleasantness. Be-muse-ingly unamusing but just acceptable. 2.25/5.
21st May, 2017

The One for Men Eau de Parfum by Dolce & Gabbana

I find something in the formula of Dolce and Gabbana The One for Men, edt and edp, especially interesting, mostly in the top, but the bases are duds.

The edt may have more promise in the top, but more disappointment in the base. The edp seemed quieter in the top, but stayed interesting longer into the development. Overall, I think the edp improves on the edt. Something in the base of the edt seemed more objectionable.
20th May, 2017

Polo Blue Eau de Parfum by Ralph Lauren

To me, Polo Blue edt and now Polo Blue edp smell like what I think of as hedione, an interesting synthetic ingredient that can grow tiresome, and I was tired of it before I tested Polo Blue edp. It has come across of harsh and unpleasant, and difficult to wash off.
20th May, 2017

Bottega Veneta pour Homme Parfum by Bottega Profumiera

This is called a "parfum" but it's and eau de parfum. Better than the EDT, it's spicy leather scent. The leather/tonka is the best part of this scent. It wears well and long, but it's not a sillage monster. I also like the women's version with its plum/violet with leather.

Not a good blind buy as it's a hit-or-miss scent.

Trying this is a must.
20th May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Private Collection by Estée Lauder

Review of the Eau de Parfum

The opening begins with a white floral impression, a lovely hyacinth that is given additional fresh touches by a bright citrus undertone. There is a green, nigh grassy undertone present that enhances the feeling of an certain crispness.

Heading towards the drydown the emphasis shifts to the downwards floral side, adding jasmine, narcissus and transient whiffs of geranium in addtion to a very light touch of a restrained bright rose impression in the background. Later on a woodsy pine note is evident, a very dry and refinedly herbaceous pine without any sweetness, and quite different from the traditional Pino-Silvestre-style heavier pine compositions.

A very soft amber leads into the base notes, paired with a restrained mossy undertone, whose subtle tartness is not standing out - this is no Gucci Nobile - but blending in with the rest quite inconspicuously. At times the oak moss is possibly a bit too perfunctory. This is rounded off by a somewhat generic white muskiness - at times veering to a stronger gold musk character, which is thinly draped over the other notes like a gossamer veil without any civety components whatsoever on my skin. Echoes of the earlier floral potpourri follow on into the base, mixing with the rest superbly and harmoniously and forming a round, rich and sophisticated floral-chypre architecture that very gradually vanishes towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin.

This is on the whole a beautiful creation for spring evenings; mature, confident, rich, and mostly composed of ingredients of the finest quality, supremely blended whilst maintaining excellent structure. One of Estée Lauder's best works. 4/5.
20th May, 2017

Oudh Infini by Parfums Dusita

My first reaction on spraying this on was pure horror. “I smell like a $hitty nappy!” was my first thought, but that didn’t seem right, then it hit me – I smelled like the cattle pavilion at the Ekka, but still with that pooey indolic note, and I desperately wanted to race straight back into the shower and scrub like hell. I almost did, almost, but I made myself wait. I’m so glad I did, because after a couple of minutes, it started to settle and the other notes started to peek out. And after three hours, I’m getting it all – rose and sandalwood and soft creamy vanilla, with a touch of earthy skank from the civet, and wafts of smoke and leather. The Oudh in this is amazing – rich, woody, sumptuous. There is something cosy and comforting about this, which isn’t something I’d associate with such a blatantly animalic scent, but there is. I keep burying my nose in my elbow to hoover up the scent – it’s lovely and quite addictive.

And it sure got the attention of my cat, who has a bit of a thing for the skanky animalic scents. I went to pat him and his head shot up and he started frantically sniffing my hands. I’d just washed them and thought it was the soap, then realized what must have caught his attention, so I let him smell my wrist, and it went something like this: sniff sniff sniff sniff, funny look up at me. Head down, more sniffing, then a deeply suspicious, slightly accusing look. Then he fell back asleep.

It’s not a scent for the faint-hearted, and given the price (somewhat hair -raising for a 50ml bottle) definitely try before you buy, because this is a scent that you will either love or loathe. I’m well on the way to falling in love with this one. A big thank you to purecaramel for the sample!
20th May, 2017
kupgup Show all reviews
United States

Novacaine by Tokyo Milk

Mmmmmmmmmm. This is a favorite. Spicy--as in ginger and nutmeg, and also as in hot peppers. There's prominent incense notes, and just enough floral to give it a hint of sweetness. It's warm and sultry and gothy.
20th May, 2017
kupgup Show all reviews
United States

Notting Hill for Her by English Laundry

It's . . . nice. Like something a nice person would wear in nice company while having a nice conversation over a nice cup of tea.

I get zero citrus off of it, nor peppercorn. It's pretty much just flowers, sweet and inoffensive and bland. It's got a smiling-and-nodding vibe.

But I can't hate it, though. I just can't! Despite being a sarcastic grump about everything, and a pretty big hater of floral notes that rub me the wrong way. It's just too gosh-darned gentle and mild-mannered to hate.

And I also have to give it props (and ultimately the thumbs up rating) because--despite being insufferably bland to my nose--it sparked my interest in fragrances.

I've spent most of my life sniffing toiletries and going "eeeeewwwwwwww," recoiling when people near me whip out bottles of lotion, being miserable when I have to visit the laundry soap aisle, and generally seeking out products that are unscented or have minimal smells. I was sure I hated basically all fragrances and scented things (candles, lotion, whatever), simply because I'd mostly only noticed ones I found hateful.

Then along came a Notting Hill sample in a subscription box. I gave it a chance just for laughs, because that was the point of getting the box, and what else was I going to do with it?

I didn't like it at first.

But it grew on me over the next hour or so. And then I wore it a few days later. And then I wore it again. Before this I would have told you I flat-out hated conventional smelling flowery perfumes, all of them, full stop. And this really does fall into my brain's "conventional smelling flowery perfume" category, even after some more experience.

. . . But it's just so insufferably nice, that after a few wears I decided to go take some chances sampling other things too. And soon I was finding other things that I found wearable, even things I actively enjoyed (much more than Notting Hill). And I realized that fragrance is actually a pretty interesting thing, even if I don't enjoy everything ever.

So, good job Notting Hill, you sweet little goody two-shoes, you. Could you pass the scones, dear?
19th May, 2017

Piper Nigrum by Lorenzo Villoresi

This has the most refreshing opening I've had in ages. Pepper and mint, with some anise and clove. So it's spicy, but the mint makes it cool as well and a lovely wake up call. I cannot stand the smell of aniseed, probably due to Pernod and cider cocktails in my youth (sometimes I wonder how I made it this far...), and even the smell of anis or the taste of aniseed chewing gum sets me on edge. But when it's well blended in a perfume I've come to love it! And this is great - all of the components work together in a contrasting almost clashing burst. And it stays good, with some amber sweetening the clove. I'm still getting little bursts of peppery spice hours later. I find this one gives me the mind clearing space I often look for in more incensey scents.

It works so well on a sunny day that I'm very curious on how it will be in the middle of winter - I could be looking at this year's Christmas present to self!
19th May, 2017

Sirène by Vicky Tiel

I always have a bottle of this, in my collection. It is my "go-to" sweet to dark, powdery scent. It contains some of my favorite notes of rose, peony, and violet. I favor this on summer evenings.

A little goes a long way. Lingering sillage. Very girly-girl gift for Valentine's Day.
19th May, 2017

Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi by Acqua di Parma

A fig fragrance that to me, is not overly cloying. Just enough citrus to make it clean and refreshing. A delightful summer scent. Reminds me of warm, sunny days, with not "a care in the world" type, happiness. More feminine than masculine IMO. Moderate longevity.
19th May, 2017

Roma by Laura Biagiotti

I finally got around to purchasing this. It has been on my radar since the early 90's. Why it took so long is beyond me. It is everything I'd hoped for, in a fragrance from the 80's.

Very well orchestrated. It is a genius combination of notes. Rich, full-bodied like a fine cognac. A libation for the soul of a goddess!

To me, no ingredient over-powers another. A classic "oriental".
19th May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Sensuous Noir by Estée Lauder

The floral-vs-spicy dichotomy defines the first half if this creation: a medium dark rose with a lighter touch at times, and a pleasant jasmine, and a peppery touch - just to add a bit of spice, but initially in the background.

The heart notes add an agreeable violet with whiffs of fruitiness, but with time the spicy elements move into the foreground- never heavy, rich or dark though, but gradually developing an ever so discreet balsamic touch.

The base grows sweeter, with a lightly ambery vanilla and sweet honey, but not actually stronger in intensity. Carried on a carpet of acceptably restrained benzoin, is vanishes gracefully towards the end.

The sillage is moderate, the projection excellent and the longevity nine ours on me.

A pleasant winter scent with a nicely balanced floral-spice theme, a bit generic at times, and with a base concept that is rather predictable, but overall nice work and well-blended. 3.25/5
19th May, 2017

Aqua Celestia by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

A very simple freshie that is a light clean floral musk that would be a killer laundry detergent and this is why I like it. Wearing this, I smell clean - very pure and natural. The first aroma to hit the nose is soft floral that reminds me of magnolia wafting through a lush green cooling garden but is evidently mimosa flower which is a gentler floral and absorbs its green flavor from lime citrus. In fact this fragrance reminds me greatly of Atelier Sud Magnolia which also contains blackcurrant musk but lacks the mint and green quality of A. Celestia. I have never smelled mimosa before and doubt I could identify it - nice! This soft yellow & green floral has a touch of lime and a slightest hint of mint which dance crisply against a blackcurrant musk clean but dry stopping point. Celestia is similar in character and charm to M. Kurkdjian's Aqua Universalis but slightly less innocent and is missing the narcotic jasmine found in Aqua Universalis Forte. Of these three MFK freshie florals Aqua Celestia is my favorite.
18th May, 2017
Advertisement