Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 136315

Io Non Ho Mani che Mi Accarezzino il Volto by Unum

I really do like this poetically named, impossible to remember title of incense from UNUM. There are lots of note ingredient complications that serve to create incense harmony that stays within a mid tone register. Warm pleasantness floats on the Ylang, cinnamon, tonka, benzoin and sandalwood. These are all very pleasant warm soft tones that coupled with ambroxan fill in the large well balanced silent majority of the composition. Sharp greens shred the warmth of the incense towards woodland depths with galbanum, myrrh, cedar and clary sage. Some reminders of strength of the woods are delivered from petitgrain, cedar wood and sandalwood.

Altogether this is a warm and interesting aggregate of fragrant bits composing a complication that becomes a resolute quiet. This UNUM keeps within itself and is incense very appropriate for quiet contemplation. The poem/perfume title, "There are no hands to caress my face" celebrates the surrender in acceptance of love and the sublime enjoyment of self. A satisfying fragrance!
29th June, 2017

Tasmeem by Rasasi

Tasmeem Men is a subtle but very present cologne which is pleasing to wear and is a great value find. It is a wearable, people pleasing versatile soft tonka musk that hums in a mid high register with pleasing complications. Similar to Midnight in Paris in aroma. It is not cloying or oppressive in any way, and is slightly too generically pleasant for my taste, but a beautiful presentation and great value, if you happen to like this kind of musk. Many will like it. I rate Tasmeem Men 6.5/10.
29th June, 2017

Chant D'Arômes by Guerlain

This is a lovely smelling perfume that reminds me of elegant women from when I was a kid growing up in the '70s and '80s. Unsurprisingly, the listed notes include some greatest hits: honeysuckle, jasmine, sandalwood, oak moss, and vanilla. In 2017, I find it unisex.
29th June, 2017
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Lipstick Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

"You wash and brush up
You want to dress up
You want to kiss her
But she's busy with her makeup"

- E.C.



29th June, 2017

Adjatay Cuir Narcotique by The Different Company

Exquisite! Tuberose, ylang ylang and the heliotrope is the bomb! Of course, there's tonka, styrax and musk here, too. It's all there, but skillfully blended. Sweet, ambery tuberose is the overall effect with whiffs of heliotrope. I don't really get the leather all that much but it's still enjoyable. A heady, bossy floral. Underneath, a faint soapiness, possibly that will lead to leather in future.
This conjures up thoughts of a brilliant spring garden, sprinkled with light and white flowers.
28th June, 2017

Sinner by Kat von D

This scent has been released in a new bottle (IMO, much better than the old "wash tap" bottle cap) in 2017, and it's by far my favourite of the Kat Von D scents. (The bottles are now covered in Goth-inspired filligree.) This is not haute parfumery, but a pleasant scent for everyday wear. The deep fruit/spice/wood scent is better than the sister scent, Sinner. Longevity and sillage are average. Don't waste money buying the high-priced bottles on eBay. Instead, enjoy a new bottle of this scent.
28th June, 2017

L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme Eau d'été 2016 by Issey Miyake

This does smell like the original... It does have a little more bottom end umph to it lol... Stronger off the top as well. I feel this is more of a masculine scent compared to the original and is a complete winner for the current online prices (under $30 dollars US for 125 ml's). Blind buy worthy (if you like the original and don't mind redundancy). Enjoy!
28th June, 2017

Aqua Universalis Forte by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Stardate 20170628:

A well composed citrus floral fragrance. The white musk and woods give this a bit of a heft making it stand out in the world of citruses.
There is some sweetness here and the whole composition is smooth. This fragrance envelopes you and gives a nice clean feeling.
It is different than most others and I think the soft muted florals are the reason. Makes it very different than fresh out of laundry smell and more like 'just taken a bath in a waterfall in middle of flower field'.

Recommended
28th June, 2017

Après L'ondée by Guerlain

I like iris (iris root, orris root), which is one of two main components I get from Apres L'Ondee. The other is a sharp, astringent smell, like a skin-drying soap. It works for me.
28th June, 2017

Oudh Infini by Parfums Dusita

This is my 1st post so I'll start with a quick disclaimer. I'm a novice and my posts will be nothing like the erudite commentaries of Colin Maillard, ClaireV, Darvant and the many other Basenoters whose comments I love to read. I'm just beginning to pick out notes and read the Holy Grail authors and figure out what I like. But I'm having a great time learning and I'm never at a loss for opinions, so when I see a forum devoted to something I love, I want to participate. A lot of my comments will be (hopefully) favorable because I'm not a critic who samples everything. Obviously I try only what I expect to like though it doesn't always work out that way. I do a lot of blind buys when some silver-tongued copywriter wins me over, because I love to try new things.

Dusita Oudh Infini is my 1st review. I don't smell the fecal odor a lot of people have described, but it does start out smelling like a barnyard. In my mind, there's a big difference. It's a dense, rich, walking around a farm on a warm summer day kind of smell. I like it a lot, but it's potent, just this side of overwhelming, to the point that I was relieved that my cab driver didn't roll down his window when I jumped in this morning. It's probably at the very top end of what I'd find enjoyable in a fragrance (meaning not quite over the top, but close) -- a wall of scent, not just something that my nose picks up every now and then.

The oud is very rich and doesn't smell medicinal in the slightest. The "urinous civet," as people on Basenotes say, is very much in evidence, and so is the May rose. There are lots of other things going on that I can't really distinguish at this stage of my fragrance education, and the Tunisian orange blossom is probably one of them. The scent is a steamroller that goes and goes and goes. Ten hours after spraying it on, it's still going strong. If there's a drawback, it's that I can't imagine people thinking, "Gosh, that guy just happens to smell really nice." It's more a fragrance that announces itself and makes the rather self-conscious statement, "I'm wearing THIS today." Rich, dense, strong, expensive, not for the faint-hearted aromatically or financially. 8 out of 10
28th June, 2017

Seyrig by Bruno Fazzolari

Aldehydes, florals, musk.

Seyrig starts with a heady blast of aldehydes that is at once soapy and refined. There soon comes to the fore an assorted bouquet of flowers where it is difficult to discern individual contributors, though there is a hint of rose. This floral accord persists for a significant period, with a soapy, clean, green temperament, and an attractive cool elegance. The late dry down reveals a slight warmth, and is soft, musky, and slightly mossy.

While Seyrig is undoubtedly well crafted, it seems to replicate a common style of perfumes - notably vintage aldehydic soapy florals. This is a modern take characterised by lack of animalics, absence of spices, and a typical refinement that one experiences in Fazzolari's creations. However, Seyrig is also somewhat straightforward and not as innovative or compelling as the majority of Fazzolari's range. The end result comes across as a simple makeover of a pretty, but a little tired (and, sadly, somewhat forgotten) genre.

Recommended for lovers of aldehydic florals.

3/5
28th June, 2017

Mr. Burberry by Burberry

If sandalwood falls
In cedar, guaiac and herbs
Does it smell this nice?
27th June, 2017

Super Fragrance for Men by Etienne Aigner

Stardate 20170627:

A super fragrance. A classic composition. In the style of Bugatti, Chanel PM Concentree. But I think this one is better than them all.
The development is great and I think top is better than Bugatti.
Starts a bit creamy citrusy, skanky with hint of pepper. And dries down to sandalwood vanilla powder.
It is smooth and FBW. A shame that it is discontinued.
27th June, 2017
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Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

Classic-smelling Guerlain with oak moss and vanilla. This is the edt version. I find it similar to Habit Rouge, but less herbal, and simpler, with more focus on vanilla, and more of a unified accord with wood and spices perhaps playing a role in shaping the character of the vanilla, giving it warmth.

The initial blast hints at more complexity, but it settles quickly, and feels light and restrained. It smells of delicious perfection.
27th June, 2017

Goodbye Piccadilly by 4160 Tuesdays

This is the most cloying, disgustingly sweet perfume I've ever had the misfortune to smell. I hate it. It is worse than Magie Noire and Youth Dew. In fact, mix them together. You'd be pretty close. Just need an extra little something to help you vomit? You've found it.
27th June, 2017

Boccanera by Orto Parisi

Boccanera is a cold weather fragrance and with the cold snap here in Chicago it was the perfect day to return to it. I can say, without hesitation, that I love this cologne. Admittedly it's a bit of a mélange, with no clear notes that stand out. Some might call that a muddle. Don't care. It's my kind of muddle.

It's a warm scent, rich and sexy. The scent tree above (sweet notes and spices) are not accurate to my nose. I get very little spice from it. Is it gourmand? Perhaps partially but not absolutely. On the gourmand side, I detect hints of dark coffee and walnut oil but only modest sweetness. At times, I taste bitter chocolate distantly. The light sweetness is tempered by an almost animalic musk, something dusky. Not smoke but a hint of charred wood.

All these notes weave together to create a rich, comforting scent with good longevity and modest sillage. Just about perfect.
26th June, 2017 (last edited: 27th June, 2017)

Roadster by Cartier

Wood's gin's clarity
Mint's ice's hungering breeze
Less's more's vast null.
26th June, 2017

Myths Man by Amouage

For an Amouage product Myths Man has a somewhat calm opening and a graceful development that is relatively linear through the 14 solid hours it lasts on my skin. I get none of the old lady, sewage, or other disparaging scents other have reported. Bangkok Hound describes Myths rather well. Applied in the early evening Myths will follow you through the night into the morning, changing very slowly as time passes. It is a warm comforting scent that draws me, each evening, like a moth towards a light. A spray or two closes one day and opens the next like no other scent I have tried. Work friendly and elicits compliments in a fragrance unfriendly environment. Myths is the first Amouage I purchased in a 50 ml bottle. The smaller bottle has a solid overall presentation in the Amouage tradition and adds in that it is far more comfortable to handle than the larger siblings. Myths will be one of the few scents on my repurchase list.
26th June, 2017

Néroli Sauvage by Creed

Wildly civilized.
Orgasmic floral citrus
Looking to move in.
26th June, 2017

LAVS by Unum

LAVS smells like two things: gunpowder and incense. This is hard liturgical, biblical incense. I see pistols and padres, pontiffs and shotgun shells - too much? The combinations here work well for a deeply contemplative attitude that is very serious about its business. The gunpowder is a smoldering metallic blend of cardamom, black pepper and cloves for grey steely sparkle. The inner heart is healing and penetrating aroma of rosewood and elemi resin. Elemi is a thick medicinal resin extract of the Boswellia plant used to cure flesh wounds, chest colds, healing of scars and also to varnish wood. The healing effects of elemi offsets the gritty gunpowder threat. This is a wonderfully balanced incense aroma that couples serious intent with pervading redemptive curative powers. Excellent.
26th June, 2017

Narciso Eau de Toilette by Narciso Rodriguez

Floral, woody, subdued, feminine, Spring scent. Musk, peony, rose, vetiver, and cedar create a safe, but sultry fragrance, in my opinion. This is a fine designer offering. It works day into night. It is one of those fragrances I believe any lady would enjoy, as a gift.

Longevity is 2 out of 5 "stars".
26th June, 2017
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Anni Venti by Laura Tonatto

The opening is characterised by a floral dominance, with jasmine and rose in the foreground, brightened up by a touch of neroli that is accompanied by a restrained aldehydic halo. The drydown is characterised by whiffs of violet, and the floral notes are not too overbearingly sweet.

Heading towards the later stages of the development, here a rich oriental feel becomes dominant, with incense combining with a good lashing of benzoin. Richer and and sweeter now, but on my skin never seriously cloying.

The sillage is moderate, the projection excellent and the longevity seven hours.

A nice autumnal creation, combining floral with oriental moments that, at times, cannot avoid a certain generic nature, but in some aspects compliments each other nicely. 3.25/5.
26th June, 2017

Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic by Guerlain

Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic (2007) is a nearly there fragrance for me. I like it more than Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune (1999), and I can appreciate both of them for capturing moments, snapshots of what was happening in perfumery in their release years, and memorable moments for people wearing them, and for other people around them - but they lack the effortless grace I prefer in perfume. They're loud, bombastic even; especially Pamplelune.

This mandarin and basil version has the feel of an aquatic fragrance that I think captures the market trend of its time, and in keeping with that, has an unrelenting reliance on the bankable aroma chemicals that were making the rounds. These aquatic aroma chemicals are not necessarily a deal breaker, but they have to be handled with more care than they were here.

The opening salvo of this worked fairly well, and it was in thumbs up territory for the first few minutes before it became clear that things were not going to work between us.
26th June, 2017

Habit Rouge L'Eau by Guerlain

What if I told you
That Shalimar Light Pour Homme
Was Habit Rouge L'Eau?
26th June, 2017

Cuir Pleine Fleur / Fine Leather by Heeley

Stardate 20170625:

This reminds me of Or Black.
Green Soapy sweet floral.
I don't get leather but then I did not in K10 either so that must be me.
Or Black is dry and austere while CPF is sweet and floral and perhaps more wearable

A thumbs up all the way


26th June, 2017

Oil Fiction by Juliette Has a Gun

Most of my favorite "modern" (I wish I could find a better word than that, because modern is such a loaded word, what with High Modernism, postmodernism, post-postmodernism, etc--I've tried using "contemporary" and sometimes it strikes me as a little affected, so I'm back to the m-word for now) perfumes fall into a class of uncategorizable weirdness that renders them almost impossible to write about. Oil Fiction is a great example. It offers plenty of obvious hooks on which to be hung--huge white floral, big ol' tuberose, tropical bouquet, floral oriental--but it doesn't fit into any of those. Sure, the notes indicate that's where Oil Fiction belongs, but smell the perfume, and discover exactly how unfamiliar all these well-known elements can be rendered.

It's not that Oil Fiction doesn't smell like its primary components, because it does. Dominating the perfume is a capacious tuberose on a scale that could conceivably stand toe-to-toe with Fracas, coupled with ylang-ylang to stretch it even further across the canvas, as it were. This part represents familiar enough territory; the floral materials seem excellent, and they call to mind appropriately sultry images until the rest of the perfume begins to uncurl beneath the florals--at which point, Oil Fiction whisks the wearer to a psychedelic landscape populated with freaky mechanical things nestled amid the heady jungle flowers.

I would say that something about Oil Fiction smells metallic, but that's not really accurate; after all, "metallic" usually denotes something simple, one-dimensional, and almost never pleasant--a perjorative, in short, at least in perfumespeak. Something in Oil Fiction evokes metal, but it's more than that: it's like an entire high-tech machine, with all its different layers of industrial materials, including lubricants, has come to life and has integrated itself, somehow, into the perfume's supremely fleshy florals, so that the entirety has metamorphosed into a hybrid life form made of machine and plant in a symbiotic state. I know how weird this sounds; it's science fiction stuff. But this is science fiction perfume.

Another way to look at it, I suppose, is that a clever perfumer (who remains anonymous in this case, although I have some suspicions that I'll come to in a moment) hitched a top accord of superb-quality naturals to a base of modern aromachemicals, but did it so seamlessly that it's hard to tell where one stops and other starts--not an unusual endeavor in modern perfumery, but one that's very hard to pull off with any real success. The way it's done in Oil Fiction offers the advantage of concealing the clunky aspects of what is basically a big ol' woody amber. In fact, it makes a virtue of necessity by integrating the florals and the "amber" into an accord that's unique as well as beautiful; and it adds the technical achievement of bringing together two notoriously temperamental and overpowering elements (the Big White Floral and the Big Woody Amber) and making them only not play nicely, but also seem like they were made for each other. It's like lions and lambs, or sheep and wolves, or whatever predator/prey relationship you prefer, although I'm not sure which element is which, considering how carnivorous tuberose can be. I'm gobsmacked as to the technical aspects, although I'm sure it has something to do with a massive dose of orris butter, smooth and cool and just a little green, but never rooty or powdery in this perfume.

And, I suspect in large part because of its iris content, the perfume wears like a dream. Oil Fiction is one of the few modern/contemporary/whatever you call it perfumes that I could actually sense taking flight off my skin the first time I tested it. I've read the word "flight" used in older, classical treatises on perfume composition (usually in French); and I've experienced it with rich vintage perfumes, mostly the big mamas, in parfum formulation, from the house of Patou--which leads me to conclude that a true perfume flight depends on quality florals as well as meticulous composition. The sensation I get when I first apply Oil Fiction is sort of like watching a jet switch on in a fountain; it's like a stream of liquid springing up into the sky, scattering light as it goes. The bottle's sprayer doesn't really do it justice--you get a more diffused surface area, but it happens at the expense of that joyful leap. I prefer to use a sort of pour/dab method instead (judiciously, of course--this stuff is strong), which adds the benefit of a kind of swirling sillage that also evokes the great Patou classics.

The folks at Juliet Has a Gun (a house for which I have not much love, for the most part) present this perfume as a work of art, and I concur. It's a hell of an performance, worthy of titans like Joy and Le Dix. So it's strange, especially in this day and age, that Oil Fiction has no attribution. JHaG founder Riccardo Ricci may be Nina Ricci's grandson, but he's also a self-taught perfumer, and most of his house's perfumes show the kind of naive surface charm that I associate with non-classical perfume creation. However, Ricci has an angel sitting on his shoulder, and probably hanging out in his lab as well. Lady Vengeance, one of JHaG's first offerings, was composed by Ricci's friend Francis Kurkdjian, classical perfumer extraordinaire (and an artist of mind-blowing proficiency), whose hand I sense at work in Oil Fiction. The smooth transitions, the glorious florals, the flawless execution, the way the perfume seems to almost swell from within using cleverly embedded aldehydes--these are Kurkdjian hallmarks. But the real giveaway to me is the chassis of the thing; in his own work, for his own house, Kurkdjian returns with some regularity to the much-maligned metallic woody amber base, trying to tease something beautiful out of those difficult materials--coupling the bases with warm, sexed-up amber like he does in Grand Soir, or pointing up the base materials with little touches of sweetness like he does in Baccarat Rouge 540--a work of minimalist alchemy that I often return to out of frustration, because I can just see its beauty out of the corner of my eye--and then I blink and it's gone.

I find this notion of discovering beauty in (what I consider) ugliness extremely compelling, in art and in life. Even if Kurkdjian didn't compose Oil Fiction, it's so clearly influenced by his work that I think he still deserves credit for the ideas that drive it. I also think that Oil Fiction his (or a protege's) most successful attempt at rendering klunky woody amber presentable, an endeavor that seems kind of quixotic when I think about it. Even Grand Soir, attractive as it is, feels a little like lipstick on a pig to me (perhaps because it's an amber; I don't know); and Baccarat Rouge is, to my nose, literally great on paper but not so much on living skin. Oil Fiction manages that rarest of things: it's bizarre, unique, and cerebral; but it's also as familiar as even your strangest dreams, as comfortable as a sculptural but plush sofa, and as sexy as a pair of beautiful legs wrapped in fetish boots. Oil Fiction is not for everyone, but if you have the attitude to pull it off, it's a stunner, a head-turner, and a guaranteed fisher of men.

Testers are going for a hundred bucks at the discounters' sites. If you love bold, unique perfumes and you're looking for something new, go for it, and wear with abandon all summer long (or whenever you need a hit of sunshine and a little futuristic pizzazz in your life).
25th June, 2017 (last edited: 26th June, 2017)

Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain

This has some feminine charm that could be nice in passing, but it's harsh and overbearing to wear.
25th June, 2017

Uomo by Valentino

Sex Art Booze Love and
Starbucks Dark Barrel Latte.
Barista stories.
25th June, 2017

Black by Bulgari

I remember buying my first bottle of Bulgari Black, back in about 2000. I read about it in a magazine shortly after its launch; the big hype in the press centered on the tea note, which got my attention immediately, seeing as I was a tea drinker, and a lover of Lapsong souchang. This was right at the time that Sephora first opened in the US, so I headed to the brand-new store in the Houston Galleria, seeing as I could sniff and think in relative peace there, with no sales assistant staring at me while I tried to decide if I liked it or not. I figured I'd need a few visits before I made up my mind.

I don't remember what I expected, but it wasn't . . . this. It came out of the little rubber-coated bottle hitting on all four cylinders, all big, meaty, smoky, and floral in the way that tea smells floral, with an expansive quality that reminded me of redwood forests in the Pacific northwest. The rubber note felt almost like sap (which is where rubber comes from, after all). But what Black really brought to mind was the machine shop at the family business; Dad was a pipeline contractor, and the shop comprised a warehouse of lathe operators and arc welders--hot metal, cool lubricants, and the smell of shavings piling up on concrete. So there it was, a machine shop forest, or a forest in a machine shop, or vice versa. And it was--daringly--marketed primarily to women, although even the early blurbs mentioned that anyone could wear it. I fell in love with it instantly.

The best thing about Black was its aura of mystery. It smelled a little perfumey (from the jasmine on the top, which gets lost once the smoke gets going) and a lot dangerous. Plus, it cost a very reasonable 50 bucks, even at full retail. It took me about 10 seconds before I stuck one of the square black boxes in my little Sephora basket and headed for the counter. I took it home and wore it nearly every day for at least a year; it put me in a sort of friendly ass-kicking mood, which was perfect for surviving the daily insanity of living in Houston, with its batshit traffic and noxious weather.

Now, almost two decades later, I still have one vintage bottle of Black. It's on its last legs, and it breaks my heart a little every time I spray it. Reformulation removed the chewy complexity of the tea notes, exaggerated the rubber, and also brought out the vanilla/tonka accord in the base; the whole perfume went out of whack and lost the balancing act that made it so interesting. Also, unlike many reformed perfumes, the drydown of the original smells quite different: when the smoke dies down (literally), my vintage settles back into a true tea scent instead of the rubber marshmallows of the current version.

I could elegize for several more paragraphs, but it's depressing, and boring, to read reviews that moan on about the ruination of great perfumes. So I'll just say that the latest (and the last, as I believe it's discontinued) edition of Black still smells pretty good, albeit much cruder--a better masculine, perhaps, but a less compelling perfume to my nose. It's still better than 99 percent of the stuff out there, and my heart still skips a beat when I smell it on a stranger. Passionate love has faded to wistful affection. I'll miss it when it's gone.
25th June, 2017

Eau de Cologne Impériale by Guerlain

Fantastic opening, a perfect citrus Eau de Cologne smell, counterbalanced by lack of longevity.
25th June, 2017
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