Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 138995

Tan-Tan by Coquillete Paris

A courageous idea of aromatic failure. Coquillette Paris Tan-Tan is (for long but thankfully not tout court ) another post-modern perfumed "anti-perfume". Dusty, dissonant, strident, leafy, chemical, electrically crazy. Opening (the less creepy part) is by soon intensely floral and prickly-herbal before to become plastically off-putting, sticky and synthetically dusty. The plastic/xerox toner-like smell a la CdG Odeur 71/Odeur 53 is evident, sour-green, acid and vaguely resinous in its floral background. I smell sticky white lymph, coniferous resins, petroleous rubber, dry florals and "a discount kind of leather" (milky/resinous). I detect several incensey/dusty un-liturgical aromatic facets (cold and impersonal) as well, combined with shopper bag-plastic, "liquid woods" (metallic and dry) and rubbed herbs, like smelling on skin a sort of watered down plastic/herbal/floral Durbano Black Tourmaline with figgy/leathery/piney disturbing nuances and with no trace of elegy.
P.S: dry down affords a significant improvement since the juice reduces its rubbery/leafy/dusty facets becoming a more properly leather-floral (almost fur-like) accord with classic woody-leathery-musky-floral elements.
19th October, 2017

L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme Extrême / Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

L'Instant pour Gourmet
At the crossroad of senses,
Confectionism.
19th October, 2017

Everything & Nothing No. 10 by Tokyo Milk

Raspy.
Bitter.
Tart.
Medicinal.

Does not work on my skin. Too masculine. The dry down is so-so.
19th October, 2017
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CAaastagna_saalaaata by Hilde Soliani Profumi

Almost but not quite gourmand. It's subverted just slightly from gourmand...painting an almost fantastical scene in my mind rather than food notes. I find all the elements weave around me, constantly evocative rather than evolving over time. The roasted chestnut is clear and natural to me, nothing artificial.

Wearing CAaastagna_saalaaata gives me the sensation that I'm walking by a roasted chestnut vendor set up on the beach in a cove of the Mediterranean; the chestnuts are fresh, not fully roasted yet, not burnt or dark. The ocean is gently briny and the air is warm. The vendor salts the chestnuts with sea salt as I walk past. I can feel the sand between my toes and don't want to leave this moment.

Friendly and accessible, CAaastagna_saalaaata manages to be creative and unexpected yet feel like an organic combination. It's a sign of how good it is when you think, how come no one thought of this before?
19th October, 2017

Gold Man by Amouage

I only read the reviews for this one after testing it, and they had me laughing out loud; so many of you poor boys were horrified and insulted by this fragrance! I kind of understand the shocked reactions, but I definitely don't agree.

So on to the scent: The resemblance to Gold woman (which I own and love) is clear from the get go. There's a similarity in the bright, floral opening, which is dominated by a strong lily of the valley note. However, there's also a darker undertone present that I don't get in Gold woman: incense and civet are lurking around the corner.

The combined effect is properly stunning and for me both familiar and unfamiliar, which keeps me on my toes. Going forward, the scent seems to have two faces, alternating between Gold man: the floral-powdery-soapy-with-an-incense-twist-twin-of-Gold-woman, and Gold man: a reincarnation of a deeply animalic vintage floral.

The former is quite comfortable and familiar to me, while latter is a remarkable experience. In those moments I feel like I'm wearing something of bygone days that should come in a tiny crystal bottle with a hefty IFRA warning. It's probably the civet, which can't possibly be the real thing, but it's extremely convincing. It actually smells a little like Bal a Versailles, but with a more exotic undertone due to the strong incense base.

I think this stage especially fantastic, and it makes me want to try all the animalic vintage florals. My credit card is crying foul already.

So in conclusion: this is probably not for everyone, but do try it, it's quite the experience. It's also very potent, so handle with care!
19th October, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Gin & Tonic by Demeter Fragrance Library

Yes, in the opening blast there is a gin-and-tonic impression quite evident. As G+T goes, is is not very exciting; more the aroma of the rather thin, old and stale Genever, but the tonic has a touch of fizz - fizzed out it is though after about an hour.

I get about an hour of a nonspecific chemical cocktail afterwards, a concoction worthy of a spill on the laboratory floor the day after. The total longevity of two hours is not exactly impressive. The sillage is weak and the projection just adequate.

A him spring scent of a certain pallor and abysmal performance. Not bad but, not much more either. 2.25/5.

19th October, 2017

Halston Z-14 by Halston

Halston is clearly a less well-known name in the UK, but alas the joys of these boards is easy to hunt out scents that you've never heard of. Z-14 is one such scent, as is the designer house of Halston.

Not wanting another cypress/chypre, I reluctantly tried the current version. Let's just say the connections to big red gum are totally justified. Cinnamon in a bottle. You might be forgiven for wanting to dust your rice pudding with it!

Vintage on the other hand, even something I would class as semi-vintage, is clearly on another level. Woody, resinous, potent and long-lasting (and yes, with some cinnamon in there - but not a truck load), this is another one of those scents that any chypre lover should vie to try at least once in their life time. It’s hard to believe that this scent is so affordable. Two sprays are enough to last a whole working day. Projection is quite strong. Wearers should expect their clothes to smell of the mossy accord for days later.
19th October, 2017

YSL pour Homme Haute Concentration by Yves Saint Laurent

An oakmoss-rich, packed full of light herbs, citrus and luscious woods, YSL Pour Homme Haute Concentration is perhaps one of the longest-lasting designer scents of all time.

It's been well over 30 years since this gem came out and in my opinion was way ahead of its time. Chanel had Pour Monsieur, Dior had Eau Sauvage, Givenchy had Monsieur de Givenchy, so the bar was set quite high for YSL to compete with. But they came out with this!

Of all the 'homme' or 'monsieur' fragrances this one cuts above them all in my opinion. Fresh yet slightly dirty, smooth yet herbaceous, strong but not overpowering and very long lasting, Haute Concentration oozes quality and class.

I have the first edition bottle, with the large YSL letters on the bottle and the box. But despair not! Vintage is not the only way to go these days. The regular YSL Pour Homme in the La Collection square bottles is remarkably similar to the vintage and now long-discontinued Haute Concentration.

I'll never be without a bottle of this as it is just too classy to skip over. A thumbs up and an easy 5/5 for me.
19th October, 2017

Sahara Noir by Tom Ford

Sahara Noir is easily Tom Ford's best scent. And not just in his favourite category, the oriental.

With a ludicrous marketing campaign Sahara Noir was doomed to fail from the beginning, so thank heavens for the vintage market! What was going through their heads when this was brought out, I can't even come to imagine.

This is an incense (frankincense) scent through and through. In fact I waited for ages before writing this review until I could get to try some true incense (the type that is burned, usually in a church) before reviewing this scent. There is little else going on here - it's frankincense from beginning to end and hence the progression is minimal, if it’s even there. Incense, medicinal, meditative and to me the sort of gift a wise man would be carrying on the way to Bethlehem.

Projection and longevity are both nuclear, which makes it a shame that this scent is now discontinued.

For those looking for incense, this should be your starting point and it may well be where you end up staying. It's just a shame this house can't produce anything quite as good and keep it on the shelves.
19th October, 2017

Rozy Eau de Parfum by Vero Profumo

If you have Nahema of Guerlain, ( or its easier/cheaper to purchase) then you can skip this one. It has the same bright sparkly opening and the drydown is very similar too. The same tone so to speak. I find Nahema a bit nuttier and more buttery in the drydown, but they are so similar that I dont find the need to own them both.
19th October, 2017

Sélection Verte by Creed

Without a doubt, one of the hidden gems by Creed. Just unfortunate that you have to invest in 250ml in order to get some from them.

Selection Verte is one of the few fresh summer scents that contain little or no citrus. The focus here (to my nose) is mint and ambergris (read ambrox). The mint is put together very well, long lasting and yet bold and ready to make a statement.

It's silage and longevity are quite good. It's easy to overspray which only results in anosmia, but otherwise the scent could easily last 6-8 hours.

I get a really strong menthol-like cooling sensation when I first apply it, meaning this is strictly a summer scent for me, but it could work as a comfort scent after a warm bath or shower.

I've gradually used up a bit from my bottle, which I think speaks for itself. Nothing seductive or out-of-the-ordinary about it, just a perfect scent for warm weather that I won't be bored of for some time. I've used it in hot Mediterranean climates year in, year out and it works a treat. Just what you need in the heat when you don't want to be drowned in a warm scent. Delicious!
19th October, 2017

Pour Un Homme Millésime 2014 by Caron

The Caron Pour un Homme line has long been a respected classic. Arguably one of the first men's scents, Pour un Homme definitely beats the norm of a traditional cologne. No citrus as such, traditional woods like patchouli or oakmoss (that's obvious) and no hint of vetiver either.

Instead, it mixes three simple 'notes': lavender, vanilla and amber. Yet it still remains a classic fougere, comprising of the usual notes that make up this genre - that is, lavender and coumarin/tonka bean (that's the vanilla/amber to you and me). What's even more strange is that I can detect each and every note.

I have no idea what past editions or vintages may have smelled like, but having tried the current EdT of the classic, this Millesime 2014 special edition is definitely more pronounced and holds quite well. I've struggled to find a time to wear this scent, though originating in the early 20th Century I can see men in bow ties wearing this to the opera or formal dinners.

I wasn't necessarily a fan of lavender but got a bottle as I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. Alas, Pour un Homme is a classic cologne for men - lovers of lavender will drool over it, as will fans of raw vanilla scents.

Progression is good but the scent doesn't change much, other than the amber becoming a little more pronounced.
19th October, 2017

La Douceur de Siam by Parfums Dusita

I have tried samples of six of the Dusita perfumes, and they are all high quality and good. My favourites are Issara plus this one.

The fragrance manages to capture a tropical garden in bloom here in Bangkok - frangipani, ylang-ylang and champaca - what a feat! There is also a rose element that grows stronger and stronger after some time. There is probably some jasmine and tuberose in it, but I am glad Dusita managed to turn it into a bouquet smelling of Thailand's tropical flowers. I haven't put my nose to a fragrance that smells similar so it is quite unique in my opinion.

Due to the floral aspect, it leans towards feminine, but I think it can be applied by anyone who wants to celebrate the scents of tropical flowers.
19th October, 2017
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Tactics by Shiseido

The old fragrant path
Recalls much, forgets little.
No school like old school.
19th October, 2017

Oriental Lounge by The Different Company

This is what I wear when I would like to have a dimmer switch on my Tom Ford Amber Absolute.

Now, having said that, let me be clear that they are not the same scent - this is more feminine. I agree with other reviewers, which is what made me think this would be the amber I needed for "regular" wear. I would NOT have my husband wear this - it really does lean too feminine in my opinion, and I would not wish to smell this on a man.

I have no explanation looking at the notes listed as to why this should NOT work on a man, except it must be the way in which the notes/materials are blended. It's just light, and suggests womanly beauty...there is nothing here that even hints at masculine angles.

I'd like to wear this with a long green velvet gown.
19th October, 2017
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United States

Shalimar Parfum Initial by Guerlain

Whoah! Aldehydes! Those are new for Shalimar. It takes me a minute or two to be able to recognize any Shalimar here. At first it's a sharp-sweet aldehydic floral and while I know there is likely bergamot, it's hard to detect. After a bit that tonka/leather/vanilla thing that is Shalimar's base arrives, and I can make the flanker connection. The citrus is brighter-- more like a tangerine note than the lemon/bergamot for which Shalimar is famous. The citrus I can detect is more reminiscent of the bright, aldehydic citrus in No. 5 L'Eau. Later, a heavy dose of white musk announces its presence loudly. Finally, a patchouli note sashays in and steals the spotlight.

This is a far less citric and astringent Shalimar, with the tonka and white noise turned up and the smoke, citrus, and rich vanilla turned down. It's not as dark, bright, or sweaty as Shalimar. I like this better than Shalimar Soufflé; it's not as thin. It's fine-tuned to attract the gourmand-loving 20- and 30-somethings to whom things like Black Opium were directed. It's lovely, and I think I'd like it a lot if I weren't expecting it to be Shalimar.
19th October, 2017

Montana Parfum d'Homme (original) by Montana

Montana Parfum d'Homme, on the surface, is a spicy aromatic fragrance with an emphasis on the herbal-spicy aspects. It's difficult to discern it in terms of notes, as it is densely blended and very well-crafted; there is a floral note in there, but is wrapped in all the dense, green and dry elements, and an accord that hints at tobacco and leather. On my skin this tobacco-leather accord takes over after the initial burst of spices, and persists into the later stages of dry down, where it becomes more leathery. This is leather component is spicy, rustic, akin to spices and tobacco wrapped in leather, and there is a green element that accompanies throughout, eventually revealing a slight mossy character. On my skin Parfum d'Homme lasts a good six hours, and sillage is close but persistent.

Parfum d'Homme appears very similar to Havana, one of my favourites, but there are some differences. Havana is oilier, while Parfum d'Homme is more dry. Havana has a greater emphasis on tobacco, even more dense and spicy (prominent bay), and the tobacco makes Havana just a tad sweeter (relatively). Parfum d'Homme is slightly more refined in demeanour, and the leather is more pronounced in the late development.

While I am partial to Havana, Parfum d'Homme is an excellent choice for anyone looking to spice up slightly their daily perfuming regimen.

3.5/5
18th October, 2017

Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

I've worn this for around 20 years now.This one is hard for me to put into words.

Let me just say...masterpiece.

18th October, 2017

Shooting Stars: Kobe by Xerjoff

My first Xerjoff and one I am surprised has remained below my radar for a while.

A gorgeous floriental. One of the most long-lasting neroli (orange blossom) scents I can ever imagine, with a slightly oud-like woody/ambery dry-down.

I went through a 20ml decant over this summer and have already cracked open my 100ml bottle. Projection is superb as is longevity.

It will possibly be my last Xerjoff though as well as my first. I haven't been impressed with the new bottles, neither does the smell of a reformulation excite me much. A definite thumbs up though.
18th October, 2017

Acqua di Giò Profumo by Giorgio Armani

Everyone knows of or has smelled the original Acqua di Gio. It was the smell of the late 90s for quite some time. Some teenagers still swear by it. A great summery aquatic.

Profumo however is Acqua di Gio for year-round, all ages, all occasions enjoyment. I first tried and bought my bottle in the spring and it went down really well. Now that the weather is getting cooler though, I really see the benefits of this one.

Acqua di Gio with ambrox as I like to call it, Profumo is for those that hated the original. Like me, I don't like smelling like everyone else, but it's definitely unique enough given what is currently out there.

Another one where 'a little goes a long way', so try not to overspray. It tends to disappear and reappear throughout the day, but I can still smell whiffs of it on me at evening shower point (usually 12hrs plus since applying).

If there is incense in the base, it has been blended very well with the sage and rosemary notes (which I love by the way), though I can't pick them out individually.

All in all, a great year-round, crowd-pleasing scent at an affordable price point if you look around a bit.
18th October, 2017

Antaeus by Chanel

I've often gone through many bottles of scent before settled on something for sure. Often this means much sampling, wearing in different settings, weather and so on. It takes a while for me to like a scent but alas we often get the kick when we least expect it and from the least obvious person or association.

Antaeus to me was dismissed many years ago as a "grandpa" scent as a cousin of mine once said. But that's when Chanel produced duds and before I became a fragrance freak.

It was the concept brought about by "Ambra" of Acqua di Parma's signle note collection that made me wonder "rose and leather - really?". I hated the AdP for its content of norlimbanol but the idea stuck in my head that this had been thought of before. Reading a blog later that month dawned on me that this was indeed a case of deja vu - Antaeus!

The slightly rosey, beeswaxy, leathery and soapy-clean scent that I dismissed before, trying and re-trying to understand or like is what caught my eye (nose?) not long before.

As luck would have it, I stumbled on a vintage bottle of the regular EdT (not the Sport version). It's not that far off the current stuff (2017 - well done Chanel!) and the strength of this means you need to go easy on the trigger. It's perfect for casual or formal. You get whiffs of it throughout the day and my young kids think it makes me smell like I've just got out of the shower. What a scent! Way ahead of its time and that soapy clean/rose/beeswax combination make this quite unique. Perfectly balanced and do be enjoyed responsibly (i.e. in reasonable doses).
18th October, 2017

Patrick by Fragrances of Ireland

Having received a sample of "Patrick" from a fellow BNer, I was taken back by this classic green fougere. Basenotes has opened my eyes to plenty of scents over the years and Patrick has filled yet another void.

From the description and other reviews, I compared this one to Castle Forbes 1445 which is in fact very similar to Patrick. However, Patrick is more wearable, projects better and lasts longer. Sort of strange give its price point, but it goes to show that a good perfume doesn't have to cost the earth.

The pine and "green" moss notes fit the description perfectly. It's an ideal scent to wear on wet or murky days which are just all too common in the British Isles.

Here's to "Patrick" and Ireland!
18th October, 2017

Halle Pure Orchid by Halle Berry

More fruity than floral, to my nose. It's pretty. It is another "safe" celebrity fragrance. Nothing "rocks-the-boat" here. I barely detect any orchid, unfortunately. A satisfactory workplace perfume.
18th October, 2017

Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

It's impressive what perfumers can do. They don't always bottle what they say they are or they can create an effect, an accord.

One such example is Musc Ravageur. You'd be forgiven for thinking this has musk in it, or even any of the dodgy associations some have suggested the opening of this scent contains.

Ultimately, the effect the lavender/bergamot combo creates in the opening, combined with the spices of cinnamon and clove (in true Malle style) from the heart, it's very easy to mistake Musc Ravageur for a musk or animalic powerhouse. Yet it is what it is. And to the untrained nose it's easy to be fooled into thinking there is nothing there.

This is a true gourmand. Slightly powdery, ambery (vanilla & tonka bean dry down), spicy and long-lasting projection monster. Fans of Egoiste should take note as this has a structure that's surprisingly similar. It isn't a replica by any means, but the similarities are hard to ignore.

It definitely projects but doesn't get cloying if you know how much to use. Less is clearly more with Musc Ravageur. Don't be tempted to over spray unless you want to head for the shower later on.

All in all the fougere comparison is also justified as it ticks all the boxes, but the added spice and 'harsher' smelling opening make it far from a traditional aromatic fougere.

Expect this to last for weeks on clothes and fabrics from any version. So be sure not to wear the same clothes with another scent the next day as you'll still smell of Musc Ravageur!
18th October, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Green Tea by Demeter Fragrance Library

In the first moments I am hit with a slightly sharp ozonic blast that is not necessarily a pleasant one. After a while, when the biochemical blast settles, gradually the green tea emerges. Initially it is very faint, develops overtime into a recognisable and at times pleasant free tea impression, with a gentle honey undertone and whiffs of mild spiciness.

After a couple of hours this dies down and evaporates, but towards the end it is resurrected and appears once more. On my skin the green tea notes is very nice and now expresses a truly convincing green tea aroma for about an hour, albeit close to my skin - then it is over and gone.

I get weak sillage, just adequate projection and four hours of longevity on my skin.

The eventual green tea note in this spring scent might be worth waiting for, but overall this weakly performing creation needs more to fully convince. 2.5/5.

18th October, 2017

Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne

I remember smelling the tester in store, it has a somewhat sweet green grass note on top. Not as ethereal as Apsu, and sometimes I can't perceive it at all.

Back home, it then fell to the very peppery woody heart (black hemlock?). Except that, it has an oily facet. If you've smelled violet leaf essential oil, you'll know what I'm talking about. Sometimes it has a dry-tea leaves scent.

The opening sweetness didn't disappear completely, it's lurking somewhere in the background. In the meantime, the main note is still a bit sour and astringent, as you can imagine from a dry cedar base. It even turns to the slightly bitter side after dry-down.

18th October, 2017

Mitsouko by Guerlain

I read another fragrantica review about Guerlains, which propose an explaination why this truly legendary brand not as popular as it was: they're not those over-the-counter 5-minutes-fame perfumes, they're mean to be take-home and appreciated in a longer time frame. Most people don't have the patience now.

Now that I've experienced mitsouko, I can't agree more with this review.

First time I tried mitsouko at counter, the sales person burst into laugh when they saw the grimace I made: the opening is a bit off-putting. It has a rather medicinal note which appears in a lot of old Guerlains, and I still don't know what caused it. I also get that inky/wet oakmoss tone on top. The rest of it is soft-fresh spice smell, not sweet, not warm, not harsh.

I just let it sit on my arms and went home, planning to scrub it off as soon as I can. By one accident sniff I was captured: it turns into something divine. The only note I can pick out is peach, not in a realistic way——frankly speaking, a lot of realistic peach only make me feel they tried too hard——but rather...lazy and comforting, not unlike a beauty lies blithely on the bed of aforementioned spicy accords, as if she did not know how charming she is.

So Guerlain teachs me a lesson: never judge a perfume by its opening, especially old classics like mitsouko.
18th October, 2017

Portrait of a Lady by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Every time I tried it on I get different ideas. This perfume is a Rubik's cube, my dumb brain can only work out one face at a time.

The most current version I got is: vivid rose blast at opening, accompanied by something strongly reminiscent of oud(incense?), with some sort of spicy animalistic undertone. A panther hide in rose bushes. If I get close enough, there is a soothing aspect of aldehyde.

The rose, thankfully, doesn't have the indolic feel as in Une Rose, possibly due to some fruity softener that I couldn't tell. My skin stays a battlefield between army of red rose and slightly pungent musk. After an hour or so, rose is utterly defeated and the musk decimated, a vast land of patchouli finally reveal itself.

If it really is a portrait of a certain lady, then it's the portrait of Rebecca, the devious and charming mistress of Manderley.
18th October, 2017

Cèdre by Serge Lutens

This is Serge Lutens does Le Labo, as in the name is not at all indicative of the perfume. What I smell in cedre is syrupy amber, tuberose, spices and generic wood notes, in that order. It begins with a nice promising blast of tuberose that is rich, slightly spicy (clove and cinnamon), but is soon drowned out by a syrupy amber. This amber accord dominates and prevails into the late dry down, where barely discernible sweet woody notes emerge. Sillage and duration are more than adequate.

I'm always ready to look past names (what's in a name?), but Cedre leaves me cold. There are tons of better tuberose fragrances (including one from Serge Lutens...), better amber fragrances (again, including one from Serge Lutens...) and the amber accord here is monotonous. Sure, Cedre smells nice, but is also one of the most boring scents I have encountered, especially beyond the first thirty minutes. All in all, severely underwhelming.

2.5/5
18th October, 2017

Midnight Fleur by Nest

The jasmine hides behind the orchid and wood, for quite some time. I can eventually smell it. The dry down is pleasant enough. A deep whiff reveals patchouli and amber. Overall, it is a milky, floral, oriental. Good, for late winter - early spring.
17th October, 2017
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