Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 136139

XJ 1861 Naxos by Xerjoff

This is an especially Xerjoff-smelling fragrance from Xerjoff: a wall of experimental-smelling billowing chemicals. The Xerjoff signature DNA is pushed beyond reasonable limits in this screamer.
23rd June, 2017

Une Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Aw, man . . . this should have been a TKO for me. I'm an enormous admirer of Edouard Flechier, and a complete ho for rose perfumes. Seriously, I'll wear just about anything rosey. Unfortunately, Une Rose involves this aromachemical called Karanal, which Luca Turin says smells like urine to "a small subset of women," of which I am apparently a member.

I can smell great rose materials, and an interesting structure, and an appealing dirty quality in Une Rose that normally would have me going straight to my wishlist, and trolling eBay in search of deals. But that Karanal--it's not like the urinous note in, say, Cadavre Exquis, which smells like an old-school pissoir in high summer, straight out of a Jean Genet novel; it's more like the scent of stale dog pee after you've repeatedly shampooed a rug where the little guy made his mark more than once. It mostly hovers on the edges until the drydown starts, at which point (since I think it's some sort of woody amber material) it becomes the main event.

But--as it turns out, Une Rose has been reformulated without the Karanal. I smelled a sample of the new stuff recently, and it's lovely--lovely, and unfortunately, quite ordinary. I'll happily wear my sample of the new stuff and enjoy it while it lasts, but I'm not shelling out Frederic Malle money for a nice rose. Not while so many excellent roses can be had for a quarter of the price.

I really wish I had been able to experience the original as it was meant to be smelled--the people who love it go into transports of ecstasy when they talk about Une Rose. I love truffles, and I love dirt, and I'm seriously not easily put off by animalics--I routinely wear Salome and La Nuit without a second thought--but the old Une Rose just made me feel like I needed to clean the house or something. And the new one . . . well, it's beautiful, but it's also, unfortunately, quite ordinary. It's worth a sample, just to enjoy the excellent quality materials, but the new composition doesn't live up to its promise.
23rd June, 2017

Black by Bulgari

What more can be said on this one?

I ordered it blind ages ago having read countless reviews. It wasn't what I was expecting.

I don't get the Lapsang references - yes, it's smoky, but Lapsang tea has a sort of meaty smokiness, and this is more of a citric, vanilla, amber smokiness. I get something of the same zingy citrus vetiver bitter sweet top I get from Fat Electrician although vetiver is not listed as a note in Black. Again, I wish I actually knew how to identify notes - I might reward myself with a course when this odyssey is over!

I was a Lapsang drinker in my day and I might have some later to actually run some data against my opinions! I'm not a huge fan of tea scents as I don't like the tang of tannin they seem to engender in me. This has none of that.

I love it, especially as the first thing I noticed on smelling was its resemblance to the Je Reviens Memories of Times Past that haunt my dreams. It's got that same oddly sharp chemical bite that I love - which seems to be floral, vetiver, spice, and vanilla all at once. I think the 'rubbery' aspect is what I consider the shared Je Reviens DNA. The sharpness keeps the whole confection light and not too sweet.

It is lovely in autumn and winter, but I'm running out of summery stuff, and it is perfect today - the weather has cooled down a bit and it's cloudy. It has a tiny hint of plasters or bandages - the old very sticky type that came on a roll and smelled 'clinical'. It lasts as a lovely skin scent and is linear enough to stand repeated sprayings throughout the day.

It also makes me long for skyscrapers and modernity - it has an urban feeling about it - perfect for walking city streets and soaking up the energy.
22nd June, 2017
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17/17 Damarose by Xerjoff

This doesn't smell too different from a mass marketed fragrance sold in the local mall, a Stella McCartney fragrance, for example, and although the ingredients don't smell precious or unique, this Xerjoff version of a fruity floral does smell well put together. I like the perfumer's work on this, Jacques Flori.

It smells like roses to me for a few minutes, and then it smells more like a rounded fruity floral, easy to where and enjoy, straight forward and unpretentious smelling.
22nd June, 2017

Gris Montaigne by Christian Dior

Stardate 20170622:

A masculine Rose Patchouli floral that does not smell like traditional Rose Patchouli.
There is a grape soda accord too which perhaps adds that je ne sais quoi.
Lasts long and is very safe.
22nd June, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Lilac Love by Amouage

A floral heliotrope with jasmine and good parts of gardenia and other white florals; later on a somewhat flat iris arises too. The drydown is a vanilla chocolate dyad, not dissimilar to molten ice cream but, alas, quite generic, as is the soft patchouli towards the end.

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

A spring scent that is not bad, but distinctly unexciting. 2.5/5.
22nd June, 2017

L'Acquarossa by Fendi

An interesting spicy, fruity floral. Citrusy, slightly peppery, a little woody, nice peony, and a touch of musk, at the end. A good summery scent, for evenings.

Yet another short-lived Fendi fragrance; for it has been discontinued and therefore discounted, in many places. Gloriously red bottle.
22nd June, 2017

Exite Force by Oriflame

The first blast of this gives you pine needles, sandalwood, cascalone, amber, and geranium. A touch of melon if you inhale gently. These notes all dissipate quickly except, what you are left with, is pine. Lots of woody pine. Wait awhile longer and the sandalwood returns -- with pine, still being front and center. If you like pine, you'll love this. Not one of Oriflame's greatest creations, in my opinion.

22nd June, 2017

Dior Homme Sport (2012) by Christian Dior

Ginger winds blow through
Citrus powder-covered trees
In Dior's snow-cube.
22nd June, 2017

Animale by Animale Parfums

I didn't wear this one when it was first released, so I can't speak to how the current version may be different from the original one. (I'm assuming that it must have been reformulated over time for reasons of cost or ingredient restrictions, because it's heavy on mossy and woody notes.)

That said, whatever changes may have been made, they've done a great job of keeping it true to the spirit of 1987! I can't smell Animale outside of the heavy context I bring to it as someone who would have been wearing other chypres like J'ai Ose, Diva, Mary McFadden, and Jean Marc Sinan at the time of its launch. So it gives me a powerful nostalgic feeling just in being a chypre from the 80s. Yes, each of those is/was unique, yet the degree of difference between them now strikes me as being about as big as the one between Flowerbomb and La Vie Est Belle today.

The current Diva doesn't smell the same to me as it used to - the components smell cheaper and the rose isn't as glorious as it was. Animale is not that far removed from today's Diva. The emphasis is different, though - Diva is so much about the animalic honeyed rose, while Animale seems like it's going to be complicated when you first spray it, but is basically an animalic chypre accord in the end.

Conventional wisdom is usually to wear a powerhouse chypre like this only in cooler weather. But I find that they can be bitter and off-putting if they don't get a chance to open up and bloom on warm skin. The thing I love about chypres is actually what they do with your chemistry if they suit you. My issue with so many modern American (in particular) fem scents is that they have no intersection with how women actually smell, and seem to be an exercise in masking. I don't need to take on any societal shame, thanks. Plus, if I want to smell like something you plug into a wall, I'll put one of those things in my pocket and radiate "clean linen" or whatever all day. So I actually wear Animale in hot weather - I decant it so I can dab just a little bit - because "Animale" is more the truth of the situation than "Fantasy" when it's 115 out, and I'll own it.

Especially amazing frag when you consider that it's available for around $9.99 at discounters if you hit them on the right day.
22nd June, 2017

Amber Tapestry by Aftelier

Given its name I was half-expecting this to be a decadent amber oriental but no, Amber Tapestry had none of the heft commonly associated with the genre. It has none of the syrupy/oozy texture, opting instead for an airier, more resinous take. Jasmine adds a floral dimension and pairs well with the central golden amber accord. As far as sweetness go, this rates a 3 or at most a 4 on a 10-point scale. Evolution is pretty rapid for an oriental, the scent dissipating to its base notes within 2 hours. I'm sure there are morsels in there that I have missed but in projection, there is little to sink my teeth into.

Overall, a nice enough oriental but a little too polite for my liking. Amber Jasmine from Abdessalam Attar could easily tug at her ponytails and steal her lunchbox.
22nd June, 2017

17/17 Richwood by Xerjoff

This smells like a sandalwood and vanilla fragrance somewhat in the style of Chanel Egoiste, especially after the Xerjoff signature notes burn off after about an hour. I like the wood used in this. It has a nice texture to my nose, slightly powdery in moments.
21st June, 2017

Moustache by Rochas

Vintage 1980's EDC.
Beautiful opening burst of Citrus with pointed Basil rather than that of Rosemary (Eau Sauvage)
Quickly moves to the extraordinary Florals which have been honeyed urinous. It winds back to the Liquorice of Basil.
The buttery Oakmoss volumes the whole mix and creates an Eau Sauvage heart heavier, dirtier and bordering powder.
A little darker than the ES and
YSL reintroduced this dirtiness in the 70's with Pour Homme with it's Thyme, Vetiver with a touch of honey piss surrounded by Citrus.
Wonderful to taste the "Original"
Dirty Citrus.

21st June, 2017
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Eau de Cartier : Vétiver Bleu by Cartier

Stardate 20170621:

A decent minty ,citrusy dry vetiver. Shares L'Envol DNA.
Nothing ground breaking but a nice fresh vetiver for a good price.

21st June, 2017

Habanita L'Esprit by Molinard

I have always been in love with Habanita. This version is just as lovely. I cannot say it is truly a "lighter" version. It isn't even just a "spirit" of Habanita. It is just a tad less rich. It still has that remarkable, one of a kind quality. The beginning phase is surely all musk, labdanum, benzoin, nutmeg, and patchouli. After settling, the heliotrope and mimosa give their lady-like qualities. This version does not disappoint.
21st June, 2017

Indigo by Nest

The tea note stands out immediately. Then the bergamot, cardamom, and wood notes come in to play. For me, the fig is barely there. It is a somewhat spicy, dainty wood scent that could easily be worn in summer months. Not a terrible perfume; just not overwhelmingly different or special in any way.


Okay. Here is some fig. It takes awhile to show itself to me...
21st June, 2017

Lilac by Demeter Fragrance Library

Excellent representation of lilac.

This soliflore takes me back to my childhood. We had two huge lilac bushes that grew side by side, melding into one another. One side was white; the other lilac colored. There was a large enough gap below them, and in between these bushes to create a "cave". As a little girl I would spend what seemed like hours nestled in, below these bushes. The odor kept me there spellbound, until the sound of mother's voice calling, brought me back to reality. I would keep crawling under these sweet, living branches until the blooms shriveled away.

This scent takes me back to simpler, happier times.
21st June, 2017

Orchid Bloom by Unknown

A soft, musky floral skin scent. Subdued, dainty, has a muted sweetness. Has a slight powdery, child-like quality. It reminds me of scented drawer lining paper.
21st June, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Acqua di Bergamotto by Ermenegildo Zegna

The opening blast displays an equal contribution of the lovely bergamot and a very nice vetiver. The latter is fresh and with minimally woodsy undertones, and lacks any significant earthiness.

Soon a herbal rosemary component arises, and merges with the opening notes to a delightful, fresh and invigorating mix. A bright neroli with minimal sweetness is added, with whiffs of hesperidic touches fleetingly present.

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

Comparing this cheerful summer scent to the other summery bergamot-based creation of this house, i.e. Italian Bergamot, the latter has more lemony characteristics on me. Whilst Acqua di Bergamotto features rosemary instead of more traditional ingredients like clary sage, it is more in the line of the traditional Eau de Cologne, and in the tradition of 4711 and Farina's Kölnisch Wasser. The juxtaposition of a more traditional with a more citrus-influenced Cologne is done by other houses; Penhaligon's Extract of Limes vs. its Eau de Cologne comes to mind.

A straightforward Cologne then this one is, crafted well, and a great delight. The performance is quite respectable for a scent of its genre. 3.75/5.
21st June, 2017

Esprit d'Oscar by Oscar de la Renta

I have to state, that I believe I love this a little more than the original ODLR. It has three of my favorite purple flowers, plus lemon! Jasmine, orange flower, and ambergris round it out beautifully. Womanly, timeless, easy to wear. A damn fine designer scent!
21st June, 2017

Gentlemen Only by Givenchy

Semi-sweet, woody, a bit green. Can pass as a unisex scent. Very pleasant. Only wish it lasted longer on my skin.
21st June, 2017

cK one Summer 2013 by Calvin Klein

I finally found an aquatic fragrance I like. I forgot I had this, actually. I'm glad I dug it out of the "pile", as it were.

Water notes, cucumber, watermelon, citruses, water lily, and moss. Sporty, clean, and refreshing. If I never obtain another cK one product, I'd be fine with owning just this flanker.

It lasts quite awhile, on my skin.
21st June, 2017

Virgin Island Water by Creed

A marginal thumbs up for this beach and lime-juice cocktail fragrance. If there were more competition for beach and lime-juice cocktail fragrances, it could be downgraded to a neutral, but there just aren't, in my experience.

This fragrance had complex development during my sampling, with a distinct opening of citrus, mostly lime, a mid of coconut-flavored sunscreen, and a base of pretty decent musky fixatives.

A couple others to try: for more on the refreshing cocktail theme: Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie; for more on the sunscreen theme: MiN New York Long Board.
21st June, 2017

The Longing by House of Matriarch

No need for a long review but unfortunately this has striking similarities to Creation-E! The Longing is a damn good fragrance but I was disappointed that it is a borderline me too frag.
I really do not want to give this a thumbs down/neutral due to the quality but for originality or lack there of I have to give it a neutral.
Don't buy this fragrance if you own Creation-E.
21st June, 2017

Féerie by Van Cleef & Arpels

Just a straight up, fruity floral, summertime scent. Lively and feminine. Nothing complicated here, in my mind. It grows on you.
21st June, 2017

Miss Balmain by Pierre Balmain

EDP from 1970.
Well, here you go with the beautiful butter of Oakmoss.
The Adelhydes, Citrus and Florals provide a landscape which leads to a soft Feminine Leather , nicely powdered up with Tonka and Amber.
Some say similar to Cabochard. Maybe, however the Cabochard Vintage leans a little more Masculine. Miss Balmain is very nice for the girls.
20th June, 2017 (last edited: 21st June, 2017)

Tuscany / Etruscan by Aramis

Another fine offering from Aramis. It is citrusy, spicy, crisp, and bright. It takes me to Europe even though I've never been there. Smells divine on me, even if it is marketed to Men.
20th June, 2017

Popy Moreni by Popy Moreni

A wonderful floriental! I get a good amount of its ingredients when sprayed. Lord knows how long this may have sat in a warehouse somewhere. I was surprised at all the notes I could recognize. I get vanilla, coffee, sandalwood, patchouli, amber, coriander, geranium, styrax, African orange flower, vetiver, and bergamot. As it settled down on my skin the heliotrope revealed itself. This is a bit of a heavy scent at first. More suited to cooler weather. It is reminiscent of those super-duper 80's offerings but, not quite...
20th June, 2017

Je Reviens by Worth

I have two different, modern version bottles of this. One smells better than the other. One is too aldehydic; the other is much more floral. I've been buying Je Reviens since the early 1980's. It has gone downhill somewhat; lost its charm. Still, it is unique compared to other aldehyde-prominent fragrances I own. I keep this around for sentimental reasons. I would not really recommend this one if you want a classic floral.
20th June, 2017

Chypre de Coty by Coty

Stardate 20170620:
1980's version. Reference Chypre. That is all folks
20th June, 2017