Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Rocco per Lui by Roccobarocco

Actually the review I'm going to "draft" in here is appointed for the amazing and nowadays kind of mysteriously dodgy (supposedly discontinued) Rocco Barocco Edt for men (silver box) and not for Rocco Per Lui which could also possibly represent a reformulation of the classic Rocco Barocco for men (I just may suppose it since I'm not sure about). Actually I detect in here a floral incensey-aromatic (musky-honeyed-ambery-aldehydic) fougere which could abstractly "recall" the noted listed below for Rocco Per Lui. Anyway this fragrance smells under my nose (for the main part of its development) really close to vintage Ysl Kouros being actually aldehydic-aromatic (kind of minty-soapy), dirty-animalic, cold, incensey, sharply floral and musky. Rocco Barocco is less bombastic and probably "easier" than kouros but the central musky-honeyed-soapy-aldehydic structure is almost identical. The Rocco Barocco's aroma conjures me remarkably the one of Kouros anyway since I get in here all that aldehydic power (oozing a sort of cold soapy vibe), the cold-incensey spiciness, the aromatic herbal Ysl's performance and all that classically chypre "vintage" barber-shop soapy/animalic (slightly honeyed and leathery) muskiness a la Paco Rabanne classic or stuffs like that. The dry down smells like the most classic neutral-soapy and musky-green gentleman "cologne" with a touch of tonka-vanilla, an honeyed-waxy soapiness and probably hints of leather. In this phase the aroma is less close to Kouros and more connected to a traditional mossy-waxy-aldehydic chypre a la Monsieur Rochas, Arrogance Pour Homme or neo-classic experiments a la Cologne Reloaded Maai. Excellent ensign of a disappeared golden age.
27th August, 2015

Love by By Kilian

If I had read the reviews before trying it, I may have been persuaded to concede that the initial impression was "damnit, now I need a shower!...and a metformin!"

However, that not having been the case, I allowed the notes to unfold, and found my skin accepted this as a beautiful neroli (what TF's only wish it could achieve!) and jasmine flower bomb (no reference to that hot mess). I suppose I should count myself lucky as some reviewers found this to be a toothache in the making, and having suffered through many of those scents, I can surely empathize...just not with this one, this time.

It is truly rare for a neroli to "stick" to me like this one is it a trick of synthetics? Will I suffer a migraine later? Who knows...only time will tell...I'll keep testing this one, and update this review as I make more observations.

9:21 am the next morning: HOLY COW! This thing does now wear off or wear down! I'm not sure I can handle it! Also, this morning, it smells like marshmallow fluff!!! What in the name of Sam is happening?? Why did it smell like neroli and jasmine last night and now I feel as though I'm in a fun-house? This is wrong. I will not be able to handle this. Maybe I could cut it with some lemon pledge?
27th August, 2015

Bleecker Street by Bond No. 9

One of those ubiquitous grassy-green pseudo-aquatic designer scents that smells rather pleasant from a distance, but gratingly annoying up close with the house trademark woody amber base fixative overload. Yes, it succeeds in extending the scent's longevity but considering the base's abrasive and overbearingly synthetic profile? No, thanks. I'll pass. My non-perfumista wife sums it even more succinctly - with a sneeze.
27th August, 2015
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Shalimar by Guerlain

My family is mostly show people and jazz musicians, and when I was little there were often colorful characters hanging around, HOW colorful I didn't find out until later.

One of them was an older English lady named Mae, who had a white poodle. Apparently she was the madam in a high-end brothel. Sometimes we'd go to Mae's apartment, which had the most extraordinary smell of years and years of Shalimar permeating every surface + unwashed dog. That was my first Guerlain experience. (The second was a Pekingese that smelled of Mitsouko. True - not trying to be funny.)

So it took a very long time before I could really consider Shalimar on its own merits, and even then, its skanky facet was off-putting to me, because I kept smelling unwashed dog! In retrospect, Mae's poodle may not have been that dirty, and it might have just been her vintage Shalimar. I really never thought I'd become a Shalimar person, even though I have lots of history with the other vintage Guerlain greats.

The Ode a la Vanille (Mexique) ended up being my gateway drug, because the vanilla in that version is so smoky and dense and wonderful that I could stick with it, and now I've learned to love even the skank of Shalimar proper.

I do continue to prefer that limited edition, yet I've come to own and love the EDC, as well, because that version also features a very smoky vanilla, and ends up wearing as mostly that. Plus it's often available inexpensively in the drugstore! Coming around to Shalimar has actually had a fantastic effect on my perfume spending habits, for while I still find new things that I like, when I ask myself, "but would you be likely to NOT wear Shalimar to wear this instead?" it's just a no.

27th August, 2015

Bohemian Spice by April Aromatics

I struggled to find the appeal in Bohemian Spice other than the fact that it is very well constructed for an all-natural composition. It features a melange of dry herbaceous spices over a base of vetiver and patchouli. Well, so do a half dozen others with more wallet-friendly price tags. It brings nothing new to the table.

Coming off the back of my recent review of Sharif, Bohemian Spice feels decidedly less refined, more organic. Aptly named perhaps but for what it does I can't help but feel it is ridiculously priced.
27th August, 2015

Sharif by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

'Sharif' is an aspirational composition that attempts to capture the the spirit of nobility in its refined approach to crafting what I feel to be a private, almost bespoke fragrance. It feels luxurious yet without any of the customary ostentations, deftly weaving together natural essences that at one point or another comes across as herbal-spicy-floral-leathery, warm-resinous-ambery, even chypre-like mossy.

What I admire most about Sharif is its well-articulated sense of refinement, its quiet confidence and almost retro-traditional masculine appeal. For the strong and silent types out there, don't miss out on this hidden gem of a scent.
27th August, 2015

Patchouli Impérial by Christian Dior

This opens very spicy - it's a good spicy! Heavy, and could be a bit surprising if you were not prepared, though.

The spicy subsides and flows easily into a beautiful patchouli. It is truly BEAUTIFUL! Ladies, do not be afraid of this! It is creamy, elegant, and really nice!

There is some wood...yes...wood...not sure that I would say I smell sandalwood, but what do I know? The patchouli may be mixing with it in such a way that I'm not able to identify it as sandalwood, but there is some sort of wood in here...

I like this. I really do. If anyone offers a split, I'll probably participate. I won't purchase an entire bottle, though. Not because I don't really enjoy it, but because I cannot imagine wearing it enough to justify 4.2 oz!

OK!! This just keeps getting better! Labdanum?!! Is that AMBER!!??? Good grief! I think I love this! Definitely unisex!
26th August, 2015

Bis by Rodin Olio Lusso

So, I received this in a sample trade, and decided to give it a spin without reading up on it. I thought it would be interesting to just sample it completely blind, unknowing of the notes or the expense.

The initial application is powerful - I get a blast of many notes, but all are surrounded by heavy powder. I don't get Iris specifically, but I can assume it is meant to be there (right?). There are a lot of sneezes after application. Mine and the dog's. I'm not so sure about this.

This is a busy day, so this review will be mainly written after the wearing, nit in real-time...which may be a good thing.

So, I've had the day, and it's still on me, so longevity is good. I could smell myself, so sillage is good (this was a bit of concern for me, as I felt a bit self-conscious, thinking if I can smell myself, others can certainly smell me!).

I really cannot pick out the notes in this. It feels "crowded". I'm not sure exactly what I'm smelling, but it is VERY powdery, and I am not smelling orris butter. I don't smell violets and I don't smell any clear-cut typical notes at all. Either I'm having a really off day, or this fume is just not well-structured. I suppose I could also be too green a nose to understand what I am smelling.

While it doesn't smell good, it doesn't smell bad. Giving it a neutral.
26th August, 2015

Égoïste Cologne Concentrée by Chanel

I read enough hype about this one to pay big money on ebay, but I don't like it more than Egoiste. It's a darker, maybe slightly sweeter, less-projecting version of Egoiste, similar in performance to the parfum versions of Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie; where I also prefer the less concentrated, greater projecting eau de toilette versions.
26th August, 2015

Oleg Cassini for Men by Oleg Cassini

Vintage Oleg Cassini for Men (1976) is a quite heavy classic chypre for man with an uncompromisingly virile and animalic woody/patchouli-centered soul and a plain sort of "vintage honeyed-spicy-mossy" temperament perfectly retracing the classic animalic-woody chypre tradition (Mitsouko, La Perla, Arrogance Pour Homme, Monsieur Rochas, Captain Molyneux, Moustache Rochas, Aramis Denim, Aramis, Geo F. Trumper Eucris, Gianfranco Ferre for man, Denim classic, Estee Lauder Azuree Pure and Knowing, 1000 Patou, Piguet Bandit etc). It smells like a mysterious, herbal-hesperidic, aromatic/barber-shop and retro mélange of wax, musks, roots, aromatic hesperides, amber, aldehydes and woods, overall encompassed by an almost liturgical and moldy spicy-incensey blanket. I get the Givenchy Gentleman's reference (due to a remarkable dry patchouli's presence) despite Oleg Cassini is richer and more focused on honey, waxy patterns and hesperides. In particular Oleg Cassini for men seems combining on my skin the classic Denim's stout bitter patchouli (Denim is the fragrance smelling closer to Oleg Cassini imo) with a final Gianfranco Ferre for Man's woodsy-mossy-leathery luxuriouness (I get the mossy-spicy vetiver in here) and a soapy-aldehydic kind of waxiness (and a mossy-aromatic patchouli as well) a la Arrogance Pour Homme. The miracle is how the final evolution manages to perform a quite balanced and light honeyed-animalic-aldehydic-rosey accord rich of forbidding class and old-school honeyed mossy classicism. I get a rich combination of sharp floral notes (a severe rose-geranium combo), oakmoss-labdanum, a dry spicy-aromatic-resinous patchouli and a luxurious accord of honey, animalic notes, hesperides, soft leather, woods and tobacco. Dry down is surprisingly aerial, translucent (almost dazzling a la Helmut Lang Cologne) and still softly honeyed and musky (yet at same time warm and visceral). There is anyway a darker dodgy soul kind of vintage and rooty-mossy (softly leathery). Slightly out of time this fragrance is anyway an example of perfectly orchestrated complexity in which a congeries of diverse notes seems ending down a softly flowing whiff of solemnity.
25th August, 2015 (last edited: 26th August, 2015)
drseid Show all reviews
United States

Empireo by Onyrico

Empireo opens with radiant, slightly sharp frankincense, supported by a brief blast of nose tingling orange bergamot citrus. Moving to the early heart the citrus vacates, leaving the remnants of the frankincense to support an emerging vague woody accord that takes the fore with additional almond-like heliotrope and dulled rose florals. During the late dry-down the composition turns moderately sweet as the florals give way to a relatively dry vanilla and amber led dry-down with the vague woods remaining in support through the finish. Projection is below average, but longevity is excellent at over 12 hours on skin.

Empireo is a tough composition to evaluate. The bergamot spiked frankincense open really smells quite good, and the heliotrope and rose florals in the early heart are certainly interesting and more than a bit different. The main problem with the composition lies in its use of slightly synthetic smelling vague woods. The woods have a bit of a dry sandalwood bent to them, but the accord doesn't quite smell like the sandalwood I am familiar with. Additionally, during the late dry-down the vanilla smells just a bit "off" from what one might expect. In this case "off" doesn't mean "bad," but it does smell quite different than most presentations of the ingredient and not particularly in a good way. The composition does smell reasonably appealing on the whole, but it is hard not to feel with some more tweaking it could have been significantly improved. At least one aspect is a vast improvement over other offerings in the Onyrico line, performance. Empireo's woods in particular are relatively tenacious, something severely lacking in the other Onyrico releases tried to date. The bottom line is the 160 Euros per 100ml bottle Empireo presents an almost split decision based on its up and down fragrance profile, but it has slightly more ups, earning it a "good" rating of 3 stars out of 5 and a modest recommendation.
25th August, 2015

Potion by Dsquared2

Another fairly-priced mainstream fragrance I’ve ignored for years until reading some positive reviews by a few contributors I trust. And again, they were right: Potion is a true little gem, quite unrelated to the averagely mediocre quality of other Dsquared scents, not to mention their hideous fashion side. First of all, many mention Gucci pour Homme from 2003 as a reference for this, and if you want my opinion, they are quite similar indeed. And in some way, even if there is some substantial differences notes-wise, Potion may work as a good replacement if you miss Gucci. The two fragrances may not be identical, but the quality is definitely (and surprisingly) on the same level – which is a quite top-notch level. And they definitely share a really similar vibe in my opinion. Potion has the same smooth, sheer and sophisticated woody-amber-incense structure of Gucci, adding to that a consistent dose of crisp, minty and delightfully pungent aromatic herbs, a fantastic musk note (“fantastic” because it’s musk, but a quality one - way different from the usual, sticky, everlasting musky base you get in many cheap mainstreams) and some spices, mostly a peppery cinnamon note.

So it’s basically a sort of spicier, sweeter and muskier version of Gucci pour Homme (with a far echo of another giant of designer perfumery – the herbs-amber accord of YSL M7); less “mature” than Gucci, but quite close to it nonetheless. More “tasty” and aromatic, slightly sweeter (I guess thanks to the subtle floral notes), less austere and less smoky than Gucci, overall more easy-going, but totally refined as well, showing Annick Menardo’s talent with spices and sheer, subtly elegant harmonies. I think I also get something reminding me of Body Kouros, but I don’t know what precisely. Anyway as I (and many others) said, Gucci pour Homme is the more evident close sibling to Potion. And the key similarity for me is their level of quality, which makes stand both quite above the rest of the “woody-amber” class of masculine designers. The quality of Potion is truly elevate on every level – materials and composition. A bit close to skin (maybe too much, at least for the EDT), but it works. A true must for the price.

25th August, 2015

Mosaic by Imaginary Authors

For a scent that is said in many reviews to be highly citrus, I find this to be completely pleasant - and that's saying something! I generally do not enjoy citrus in my perfume, at least not in the foreground. I found the citrus in this to be well-constructed, and I neither wanted to lick, bite nor cut off any appendages.

The best way to describe this scent is a dip in the pool, and then lazing about near, but not on the beach. This is more like a resort...a place you enjoy the view without getting sand in your pants. It's clean, and the colors are white and varying shades of blues and greens. There is, of course, a cabana boy. He brings drinks.

Later, you'll enjoy a deep tissue massage because relaxing requires a full commitment. The scent is reminiscent of Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino, but it isn't a copy...more of a reflection.

I believe I'll be purchasing a bottle of this lovely sometime soon.
24th August, 2015
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Memoirs of a Trespasser by Imaginary Authors

Upon initial application, I was unsure as to how this might unfold - would I want to lick my hand to experience what was sure to taste like cotton candy, or did I want to wash my hand to get the scent of overly-sweet cloying candy off my hand?

Well, it turns out, neither! Thankfully, that initial burst passed me over, and I'm ok now.

This is not a "mature" amber - it isn't elegant, nor is it trying to be. It's kinda unassuming. It's college-kid, kickin' it old-skool amber/resin/woody/vanilla. It's affordable, it's pleasant, and it's unpretentious. It's also better than a lot of other fumes that claim to be in the resin/woody/vanilla category.

Is it sweet? Well, yea! It's supposed to be! I get more of a dusty/dry/old sweet scent rather than cloying in the drydown, though. If my entire experience were based upon that initial application, I'd have never finished the review, as I'd have either eaten my hand (sound familiar?) or been blue-brushing my hand.

Not sure if I'll commit to a full bottle myself, as I have a lot of ambers, and am still collecting more, however, if I were in the market for a signature scent, and I only had $85 to spend, I might give this serious contemplation. It's really a good perfume!
24th August, 2015

Ryder by Ex Idolo

My first response to this was:

This is Buckwheat Honey, then Mead!

As the base of the fragrance lays down on my skin, the perfume becomes familiar.

I have spent the day, in the Pastry shop, of my employer, working with, superb quality Butter, Vanilla, Winter Fruit, Cognac, Honey, Molasses. It is Christmas.

It is a scent that is at once, slightly cloying, enormously comforting, vaguely alcoholic.

This subsides and what arises, is a counterpoint to the, wet, moist, sugary, fattiness.

Whispers of a ,Non ISO E Super, Wood and a beaming sliver of Frankincense, heighten, incise the honeyed richness.

I fail to identify the alleged Jasmine, so would categorize this fragrance as Masculine, not Unisex in intent.

It's status, in relation to it's older brother.

Not as good?

Well, I would declare, it is different.

What it shares, is apparent, to me.

A common poetry, study, if you will, of a Craftsman.




Second response.Later...

Whoa! What was that snuck up behind, slap me on

the back of the head.

Unmistakable, the dark, damp, almost animal,

verging on orchid-like vegetable rot. Transient.

Left behind is a trail of the purest, angel

winged nectar of Jasmine.

Matthew, you must, have this work delivered to

Canada. Now!
24th August, 2015
FISS80 Show all reviews
United States

Uomo by Valentino

The opening of this fragrance is extremely cloying. It is extremely strong and sickly sweet. Although I can understand the comparisons to DH/DHI, It much more closely resembled Lolita Lempicka au masculin. Although, there is no anise listed, I detect a very strong licorice accord. This composition has more depth and is less powdery than au masculin. The drydown is much more pleasant and reminds me very much of YSL's La Nuit. I do detect leather, coffee bean, and hazelnut but I do not detect any chocolate whatsoever. I am not a fan of this fragrance but I can understand why other's may like it. I don't particularly care for this fragrance and it feels like a mash up of a variety of different well known previously released fragrances but as stated before, I can see it's appeal. 6/10
24th August, 2015
drseid Show all reviews
United States

Michelangelo by Onyrico

Michelangelo goes on with a highly aromatic, slightly sweet and green fruity fig. Moving to the early heart the composition remains highly linear with the aromatic fig front and center, now adding what can best be described as a banana-like facet to the mix with faint additional floral hyacinth support. During the late dry-down starting about 2 hours into the composition's development the fig vacates, revealing natural smelling cypriol derived woods in the base with hints of mildly aromatic supporting patchouli through the finish. Projection is minimal with the composition little more than a skin scent for most of its lifespan and longevity well below average at about 5 hours on skin.

Of the four Onyrico compositions I have had the opportunity to sample so far, Michelangelo is the one that easily stands out as the best of the lot with an aromatic fig open that is so natural smelling and truly sublime. While the composition doesn't develop much for the first half of its life cycle, the fig does add in a gorgeous banana-like facet that completely blends into the aromatics perfectly, enhancing the already stunning effect. From the open through this point the composition is a fabulous winner but alas, things fall apart to a degree in the late dry-down. In truth, there just isn't much backbone to the composition, and when the aromatic fig vacates about 1.5 to 2 hours in, there barely is anything left to smell save a faint combination of natural vague woods and patchouli that you need to put your nose directly to your wrist to detect. The finish certainly doesn't smell bad at all, but after the impressive open its faults are only emphasized and one can't help but be somewhat disappointed. Speaking of disappointments, like all the other Onyrico compositions I have tried so far performance is relatively poor. Onyrico is a new brand, and maybe they need to tweak perfume concentration levels going forward with additional experience, but so far all of their offerings need a much higher concentration level, or at least it certainly appears so. The bottom line is the 160 Euros per 100ml bottle Michelangelo is a largely successful composition that has an absolutely addictive fig open, only to lose momentum in its spineless late woody dry-down and all too short-lived performance, earning it a "very good" 3.5 star out of 5 rating and a solid recommendation with the stipulation that you don't mind reapplying throughout the day. I should mention that each Onyrico full bottle comes with a refillable travel atomizer. Maybe the folks at Onyrico realized that you would have to top off constantly and were proactive in accommodating?
23rd August, 2015 (last edited: 24th August, 2015)

Winter Woods by Sonoma Scent Studio

A fairy main labdanum-amber accord rich of silvan suggestions and agony. Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods succeeds where probably scents as Montale Dark Aoud, By Kilian Pure Oud or Several Abdul Samad Al Qurashi's ones partially fail, namely in the attempt to render a "dark woods-based accord" a seriously approachable averagely structured fragrance. Winter Woods stands indeed out in the goal to combine dry obscure woods in to an almost foody, subtle and averagely sophisticated amberish accord (in a way it seems to detect a richer and ticker sort of new Shiseido Feminite du Bois). The main spicy accord of resins, dry woods, oakmoss and labdanum (probably supported by dodgy fruits and floral notes included secretly in the recipe) strikes us for unparalleled balance and lightness. Labdanum is the main protagonist on the side of amber/ambergris (and probably cypriol oil) imo. Myrrh, copahu balm? Amber provides animalic powder and warmth in its visceral accord with castoreum and we can go further the sterile gloomy accord of rubber, dry-dusty spices and smoky woods we get in several unwearable (less wearable) woody-resinous modern or stark (sepulchral) blends. The woodiness is plain and "absolute" but never disturbing, straight-forward or synthetically gassy. Laurie Erickson manages indeed to appoint a romantic and almost poetic woody-musky accord projecting a complex of diverse nuances (kind of fruity-floral, burnt sugary, musky, talky-ambery, smokey, tobacco-driven, incensey and yummy-spicy). I detect cinnamon and nutmeg in the mix, perfectly combined with something kind of "red-berrish or peachy" and finally balmy-resinous. I think to catch also dried fruits and undiscerned floral elements connected with balsams and woodsy resins in a way scents a la Lutens Fille en Aiguilles seem partially to jump on mind. It seems to finally detect vetiver providing a touch of saltiness and seasoned woodiness which I get perfectly connected to ambergris and mossy-labdanum in order to provide warmth and more modern wearability and smoothness. Of course we don't have to expect a complex level of evolution; anyway the Winter Woods's quality is richness of the aroma (rich of complexity), quality of ingredients and versatility in a really romantic and surprisingly subtle-chic way (especially if this fragrance is worn by women). The final olfactory cloud is warm, kind of talky-ambery, softly musky and moderately spicy, a sort of ashtoningly smooth moody-silvan mélange full of depth, mystery and melancholia but with an irresistible grade of animalic sensuality.
23rd August, 2015

Richard James by Richard James

The early version of the apparently reformulated Savile Row is a stunning masterwork which shows most of niche brands how a rich, fruity, deep contemporary floral-leather fragrance should be made. Following the ideal creative path started by Givenchy Insensé, it takes the richest, darkest and most “masculine” floral notes with no compromises on quality, and pairs them with a modern fruity-suede vibe amplifying and giving depth and strength to the “smooth contemporary leather accord” that inspired many relatively recent (and so much inferior) “soft leather” scents – from Cuir Ottoman to Tuscan Leather, via Lutens’ Daim Blond and even a hint of modern Visa by Piguet. So don’t expect any dry, well-worn leather à la Knize Ten, as here it’s all more about a tobacco-infused smooth and bright suede accord. Smooth, but not light at all. Savile Row is powerful, immensely sophisticated, and contrary to many similar scents, finally bold, clear, thick in a distinguished and mannered way. It has the grace and the pastel palette of a dandy portrait thanks to its juicy, luminous accord of sweet notes (from rose to ambery peach, and from tea to sandalwood) paired with “The Dark Force” of many classic masculine fougères – leather, tobacco, lavender, patchouli, oakmoss. And tuberose, of course, the main altar of this Baroque cathedral. There’s quite some complexity going on, or better say, a kind of extremely harmonic – again, I’d define it Baroque – golden intricacy which still leaves me speechless every time I wear this. Classic, but smoothly contemporary – by this I mean crisp, refined, bold but unobtrusive. Slightly linear but that’s all you would wish from something so perfect. Nothing else to say: just brilliant.

23rd August, 2015

Falling Into the Sea by Imaginary Authors

I'm doing a completely fun and stupid thing that has everything to do with my OCD and ADD; I'm reviewing TWO fragrances (one on each hand) simultaneously. Don't ask why. This is me.

Anyhow, I want to eat my left hand. Why? Because that is where the fragrance I am reviewing right this second is located. It smells like Lychee fruit - fresh, on the branch you buy at the Korean grocery store across the city and it is worth the traffic and all the nonsense to get there. GOOD LORD! I want to eat my hand.

As a general rule, I do not like fruit on me...I like it in my mouth. I don't like to smell like fruit...lets see where this little lovely will take me....

30 minutes...I think I smell some Neroli...very light. Lychee fruit is still powerful - it honestly triggers my salivary glands! Pretty spot on!

Still get tiny whiffs of a floral, but nothing really powerful. This is only the second IA frag I've tested. I loved An Air of Despair. This one seems more one-dimensional. Linear, but not bad. I still want to eat my hand.

After my horrible Pledge-like battle with Luxe today, I'm hyper-sensitive to lemon, and while it's in here, it is nothing like the hot mess I encountered earlier.

I think I'll buy some lychee tomorrow.

So, it's been about 2, maybe 2.5 hours, and I now smell the florals more prominently. They're nice, and I no longer wish to eat my hand.

I think this would make a nice mid-summer decant. I shall think on it.
23rd August, 2015

Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

I’m reviewing two scents tonight at the same time. If you are reading the other review, you know the other scent is about as opposite as I could find from this (It’s Falling into the Sea by Imaginary Authors). This scent, however, is on my right hand and by golly this is SEXY. If my husband doesn’t like it on me, I’m buying it for him to wear so I can like it on HIM!

The initial application was a blast of Incense, and I was thinking I may have caught some cinnamon, but not in the brisk “let me garnish that rice pudding” but in the “DAMNIT I just spilled a tablespoon of cinnamon in my oatmeal and now my mouth hurts” sorta way…nobody? Just me? Ok…

I’m briefly reminded of one of my favorite compositions, Blackbird, by HOM. The smell of a campfire is somewhere in here…with some s’mores roasting because there is a hint of chocolate.

I almost catch a whiff of labdanum. Something resinous. It’s good…really good. Not overly sweet, not cloying. Dry and waiting for you to want more.

I don’t smell patchouli in either the headshop nor the essential oil purchased from Eden Botanicals. I don’t know if I’ve missed it, or if I’m not a well-enough trained nose, but no matter, this is going in the FBW category!
23rd August, 2015

Sand Aoud by Mancera

This shares some of the qualities of two of my favourites, The Bugatti and Jubilation XXV.

First, like the Bugatti it has the buttery,caramel, mildly citric, musky, plush texture reminiscent.Drydown.

Second, like Jubilation it uses Black Berry note, different.Draws the heart to drywood.

Where it differs from both.
The opening. Patchouli, camphour, together with the "Hot Spices"( Whatever that is?)sucks the breath from you, such as, the desert heat.

Would I wear it? Perhaps.

Is it made for the wardrobe of a woman?

Most certainly of mine!
22nd August, 2015 (last edited: 23rd August, 2015)

Lux by Mona di Orio

Reviewing as I wear:
Initial burst of lemon pledge - really, I was not expecting this. I'm surprised and, really put-off. I'm learning to appreciate citrus as a supporting role in fragrance, but this is sorta gross. It sticks to the back of your throat, like you've sucked all the sugar off an old lemon drop you found at the bottom of a forgotten candy jar in Aunt Edith's parlor.

I'm 15 minutes in now. Waiting for anything...I mean ANYTHING to happen.

20 minutes: I think I smell something else! Is that AMBER??? Oh dear please say it The lemon is demanding my attention. Its like a cat while its owner is on the phone. DAMNIT!

30 minutes: ARE there any other notes? Did I get a bad sample? This is an official house what is going on here?

(Husband just yelled up from downstairs to ask what I was doing - thought I was dusting and was confused...apparently this has incredible silage...I only had a tiny sample, and only used one spray on the back of my left hand!!!)

45 minutes...I might as well be running a lemonade stand. There is nothing else in here. The back of my hand is very shiny, and feels sorta weird. Not so sure about this fume in any way, shape or form.

1 hr. ok...I *think* I may be smelling some sandalwood...very faint, and in the deep recesses of the lemon. I want it to be much closer and LESS LEMON!

Does Lux mean Lemon in another language?

1.5 hours. FINALLY less lemon...but seems like less of everything...whatever else "everything" was supposed to be.

So, I think I caught whiffs of both amber and sandalwood, but they were overpowered by the lemon, and did not last.

If you really like lemons, and have always yearned to smell exactly like the rag you sprayed with lemon pledge, this might work for you.

BTW, I own straight labdanum, and if there is any in this frag, I am completely blindsided. Perhaps the lemon ate it?, it's been a few hours and I FOUND THE LABDANUM!!!! Why in the world did I have to go through that nasty Pledge hell to get to such a lovely dry down several hours after application??? Is this a test of my fortitude? Did I do the equivalent of a fire walk??? Help me understand! I truly do not understand the construction here. I am at a loss. No, I will not buy this, even though NOW it smells pretty nice. This mental nonsense is just too much work for something that is supposed to be enjoyable...and I never liked dusting anyhow.
22nd August, 2015

Eros pour Femme by Versace

Versace Eros Pour Elle is a musky-floral sultry new feminine concoction which is aimed to re-interpret (on a feminine level) the "masculine Versace Eros"'s tropical musky combination of freshly fruity and warmly oriental notes. Also in here I get a combination of fruity muskiness and synthetic "fat" (pungent, lemony, kind of viney-berrish, fruity, soapy) oriental type of glamour notes (ambroxan, galaxolide, citronellol, geraniol, Iso E Super etc). The intense fruity-floral twist is in here represented by lemon, pomgranate (quite standout) and deep (sultry-aquatic) peony. Sambac jasmine jumps gradually on the stage providing a chic hyper synthetic lush touch. All the rest is soapy "sweaty" muskiness under my nose. Along dry down the structure collapses and the muskiness degrades in aromachemical soapiness. Better for warm climates. Hot-sensual, it combines well its substance with the "mild" woman's sweat (in case the sweat's aroma is "gracious" and not overly acid, of course). Not a great fragrance but I get something warmly-sensual down there the "neck" of the "Eros Pour Elle's woman".
22nd August, 2015

Byerley by Parfums de Marly

An incredibly simple, green, clean masculine fragrance. All the notes in this scent seem to work together toward one singular mission. All oars pulling in unison, working to the same beat, picking up speed toward an optimum combination of vetiver and woods. Bergamont is made sharp and clean by a cardamom edge which is rubbed into the cedar/gaiac/balsam woods that lay atop green vetiver. This could be a reference green woods masculine scent. It isn't startling and is not really very impressive, but it simply works! A great all purpose green woods fragrance with a very reliable character - never failing to please.
22nd August, 2015

Insensé by Givenchy

An impenetrable floral-coniferous mélange. I finally decide to review this incredible sombre masculine floral creation after many years from the first time I've tested it superficially (and yes with a completely diverse taste, critical/analytical look and olfactory experience). There is a specific reason orienting my daily choice. I actually have just today the chace to test again on skin a fragrance possessing a so high and articulated level of sophistication (according with many reviews below) that I could not review it scantily just based on a superficial grade of olfactory (and kind of childish) memory. Yes, Givenchy Insense asserts itself among the perfumery-connoisseurs (by soon after its launch) as a veritable niche-like creation in the "mainstream" (mass-market) designer range and all of that owes its status to the incredible Insense's subtle floral-herbal-coniferous complexity (a quite natural in perception work of balances which conjures me more than vaguely scents a la Trussardi Action Uomo, that is anyway less floral, Nino Cerruti classic, Guerlain Coriolan and on a certain extent scents a la Ysl Jazz, Bogart One Man Show, Canali Men, Chanel N. 19, Krizia Uomo, Givenchy Xeryus and Faconnable). Initially discontinued this fragrance seems nowadays relaunched as part of the Givenchy's Les Parfums Mytiques Collection (a new Insense for men that I've not tested yet and which I can't unfortunately compare with the classic Daniel Moliere's one launched in the 1993). Insense is a complex masterwork, a stiff balanced composition waving in the middle between a classic (aldehydes/lavender-oriented) aromatic fougere and a shadowy misty/smoky/coniferous woodsy-floral. Black currant is central and provides hints of perfectly calibrated soapy density and a touch of exotic spiciness. The sharp floral intensity is basically provided by a main accord of lily of the valley, probably carnation and "regal" magnolia (the elegant feel of which conjures me more than vaguely the floral elegance of L'Erbolario Magnolia). All the rest is basically herbal-rooty sharpness (orris root, basil, lavender, lemon), seasoned woods and resins from the dark-deep forests. The herbal presence provides a "ghostly" (barely perceivable) minty aura more than vaguely dry-spicy and smoky. The note of basil is really dominant in here among the herbal notes and it's perfectly connected with bergamot, aldehydes and lavender (a severe and commanding connection rooting the aroma down in the ground of a solid classic territory). The deep dark-smokey base is realistically piney and slightly mossy, still influenced by basil and by a floral romantic/moody mystery rich of solitude, nobiliar decadence and impenetrable wisdom. I have to confirm that all the elements are capsulated in to a "fluorescent" aromatic collage quite rich of variegate and harmonic nuances (floral, green, incensey, bitter, aldehydic, resinous, piney, musky, woody-smoky, spicy, soapy, barber-shop). Dry down is extremely "restrained", woody-rooty, warm and slightly ambery-spicy. A floral "Bohemian Rhapsody" which will drive your melting sensitivenes to elevate its substance from the current triumph of "human void".
P.S: thanks to Colin Maillard for the sample.
21st August, 2015

Viaggio d'Africa by Pal Zileri

There has been quite some talk about this fragrance, mostly for being allegedly a ten times cheaper clone of Hermès Vetiver Tonka. Since I happen to quite like Vetiver Tonka but nothing on Earth could ever make me spend that money for it, I decided to give Viaggio d’Africa a chance. If you want to skip the boring part: yes, it’s tremendously similar to Vetiver Tonka, especially for the opening phase. I don’t know if this means that Pal Zileri turned into a charity superhero to offer solid fragrances at cheap prices, or if Vetiver Tonka should cost ten times less its price; in any case, Viaggio d’Africa is just plain great. It has one of those openings that make you wish they could last forever: a warm, exceedingly sophisticated and smooth accord of vetiver, tonka and something powdery with a shade of cocoa, infused with earthy smoke, darker woods (guaiac) and some slightly musky coffee. Basically a true “brown”, rich and dusty fog; imagine the earthy-grassy texture of vetiver, the exotic sweet-vanillic dustiness of tonka, and a blurry, refined sort of powdery-coffee accord as if someone at 30 metres distance from you is wearing Rochas Man, with a faint echo of Dior Homme too. Both of you standing in the breezy middle of a desert. This is Viaggio d’Africa.

I admit Vetiver Tonka has a bit more vetiver (and a more elegant, rich and crisp one – shortly, more quality) while Viaggio d’Africa tends to drift more towards tonka and smoky-spicy-earthy territories; but nonetheless it’s really, really pleasant to wear. It feels elegant, warm, smooth without smelling formal or generic. It’s exotic, distinguished and mellow. And most important, besides being satisfactorily persistent, it’s decidedly unique for being a cheap mainstream. It obviously has some “cheap” nuances and if you smell it carefully you definitely get some usual aromachemicals you can find in many fragrances of the same price range (especially if you compare vetiver here with its Hermès more expensive twin); but the guys at Mavive were more than good in disguising them and bringing the best out of their budget. You can wear it and tell anybody it’s a niche scent, none will doubt it (and for once I won’t imply that this would happen because most niche scents are mainstream scraps in disguise). Recommended.

21st August, 2015

Alba di Seoul by Santa Maria Novella

Alba di Seoul is undoubtedly pleasant but somewhat generic and disappointing in its objectivation of assumedly included crisp-coniferous (piney) notes. I don't get properly indeed an explosion of realistically piney-vegetal or woodsy resinous elements while it seems to catch a generically crisp hesperidic-green (vaguely mentholated) central phase which finally deflects towards a boring woody (cedary)- ambery (barely mild) dry down slightly soapy and spicy (ginger, cloves, nutmeg??). The "pine needles action" seems not realistically woodsy-coniferous but kind of more soapy-aromatic, slightly "barber-shop", vaguely fruity (red berries??) and generically (synthetically) spicy-ambery. Yes, I "record" a more modern release from Santa Maria Novella but nothing more than an "easy" (woody-balmy-piney) inoffensive experiment without any chance to standout.
21st August, 2015

Parfum Sacré by Caron

The vintage parfum extrait:
A stunning opening blast combining a delicious myrrh-herbal nite with lime, cardamom and a lovely tonka-gently sweet fresh green fruitiness galore and very well balanced.

The drydown turns towards the floral, mainly expressing a beautiful jasmine and a delightful rich but bright rose. Towards the base the rose takes on woodsy rose - stem characteristics, whilst still being carried by the superb underlying vanilla. The base is keeping up the the high standard that was established in the opening phase.

This is a gorgeous creation, well-structured whilst extremely well blended and with excellent performance: initially good then soft sillage, adequate projection but, above all, a stupendous longevity of over thirteen hours, the last ones albeit close to my skin.

A remarkablenarrating of grand quality, made of top - level ingredients. 4/5.
21st August, 2015

Dunhill Icon by Dunhill

When I tried Dunhill for the first time around I gave it 4 stars as it was nice to smell with a good bergamot & neroli opening and a easy sweet drydown -though I couldn't notice the vetiver or leather
but I have changed my ratings to a 3 star as I wore it again for the past 2 days ...and I couldn't help but get this feeling of a chemically sweetened note which just doesn't leave the scent --right from the opening the notes are sweet like candy and it over shadows everything from top to base ..though after 2 hrs get a faint vetiver but its not noticeable.......and one doesn't really like to be smelling of candy for 4 to 5 hrs straight.
Other Reviewers have talked about the bottle and how nice it looks but it doesn't really help the mediocrity of scent.
In Conclusion : I cant recommend this as it has a chemical driven /synthetic vibe to it ..which is too sweet and cloying !
21st August, 2015