Perfume Reviews

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Eucris by Geo F Trumper

Review for the new Eau de Parfum, 50ml spray

It's one of my favourite releases so far in 2018! After sampling it, I bought a bottle as soon as my preferred store had it in stock. It's a huge improvement on the cologne-like EdT, which only comes in a splash bottle.

First impressions were "this stuff is potent!". The scent is an oakmoss overload. There is plenty of it in there. Others have commented how they "can be allowed the release a scent with so much moss in this day and age". I'm puzzled by this too but it is a welcome scent.

To me it also comes across as "inky", dark, thick and mysterious, yet it maintains a certain freshness in the opening. The blackcurrant and cumin are both muted compared to its predecessor, but the association to Aventus is justified (to my nose) because of the oakmoss.

50ml of this though is ample as you won't need to spray a lot to get a good long-lasting scent into the evening. Two sprays max should do it.

I personally have worn it to work a few times and its staying power is big. I've also worn it in the evening and can detect it on me well into the morning the next day.
20th March, 2018
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United Kingdom

Mandacaru by L'Occitane

Fruity and citric is the opening blast - orange, peach, pear and grapes - not a super-fresh invigorating blast, but softer and less brisk, with a touch of gentle spice at the beginning of the drydown.

The heart notes are switching into the floral realm,
With jasmine taking on a centre stage, at least in the earlier stages. A stronger violet sidekick adds darker shades at times, and a traditional lavender lurks in the background.

The base again shifts gear, emphasising woodsy notes, and whilst cedar components are evident, this mix is quite nonspecific on me otherwise.

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

A pleasant scent for warmer climes, with a pleasant first half especially. The performance, however, is not great. 3/5.

20th March, 2018

Coven by Andrea Maack

As soon as I first inhaled this i flashed on the smell of being at The Botanical Gardens and walking into a humid/muggy greenhouse where the soil was just turned and the vegetation is old and ripe...misters are at work in the background adding a little more juciness to the can't get much greener than this...vanilla smooths things out a bit...i actually get a faint touch of caramel in the vanilla...intriguing and interesting to sample and study , but not something i would go the Pagan route, shoulda been just a wee bit more dark and gothic...
20th March, 2018
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Balenciaga pour Homme by Balenciaga my top 10 fragrances...this is another case of great reviews that have said more about this fragrance than I could ever say...well , I have to throw in my 2 scents for what it's worth...I am a big longtime fan of Lapidus and Kouros and I can see why there is a lot of talk associating these 3 fragrances...each is totally unique and stand apart from each other , yet there is a common thread that is elusive and hard to pin's like they are all part of the same big family , but not close , like brothers...more like second cousins...still, i can't help but to see them as some sort of triumverate...they may be second cousins , but they party a lot together and get into all sorts of far as the scent itself , I see it as a very exotic and unusual incense fragrance...the scent goes through a multitude of changes but , throughout all of it , I get whiffs of an otherworldly incense smoke drifting in the background...opens kind of wild and probably scary for some , sour/aldehydic/vinegary effect...theres spices and herbs and woods - oh my!!! feels kind of serious and the base I also get a cherry oud M7 others have mentioned , this juice could be thrown in a fancy bottle and given a cool sounding name and sold as a high end niche scent...3 thumbs up and a solid 11 out of 10...
20th March, 2018

Allure Homme Edition Blanche Eau de Parfum by Chanel

Very similar to the EdT, the citrus just seems to be a bit sharper, has more bite. Otherwise, I get similar smell and performance.

Very good projection for the first 3-4 hours. After that it settles down but you still catch whiffs of it throughout the day, all day long.
20th March, 2018

Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

Rive Gauche Pour Homme was rather unexpected in the day of release, as nobody reckoned Yves Saint Laurent would make it a reality 30 years after the original, and nearly in the masculine style of era in which the famous 1971 perfume in the blue and black-striped can released. Creative director of LVMH at the time, Tom Ford, wasn't afraid of looking to the past for future inspirations, and revitalized the Gucci brand from the brink of demise this way. So when Ford came to supervise brand direction of YSL (much to the late Mr. Laurent's displeasure), he took a similar "conventional beauty" direction, particularly with the perfumes. Likewise, Jacques Cavallier had been tapped a third time for YSL since doing Opium Pour Homme (1995), since he had a firm grasp of both conventional styles that Opium Pour Homme (another late-arriving masculine counterpart to a classic YSL perfume) and Rive Gauche Pour Homme falls under, and trend-setting futuristic composition like L'eau D'Issey Pour Homme (1994), Acqua di Gio (1996), Ultraviolet Man (1999) and M7 (2002). Rive Gauche Pour Homme would be the perfect storm of classic masculine lines and then-modern clean, a true blending of old and new, a DeLorean time machine with fresh tires. Eventually Tom Ford's throwback direction would be rejected by LVMH and he would leave to start his own house with those very same ideas, but at least in YSL, his ideas "fit" the house better, despite the late Laurent's objections.

Rive Gauche Pour Homme opens with what is quite literally the most glorious interpretation of classic shaving cream I have ever smelled. Seriously, if you love barbershop smells, this is going to be among your top picks. Penhaligon's Sartorial (2010) comes close, but with a thinner, more metallic direction. Barbasol for the bourgeois, Gillette for the gendarme, however you want to put it, this one is alpha barbershop scent. Bergamot, rosemary, and the interesting twist of star anise steal the opening. RGPH doesn't have the brutal bergamot of the 80's, but rather the restrained 60's powdery fougère variety, just less piquant because of the sweet anise top and lavender balance in the middle. Glorious clove immediately fills in the middle too, but not the syrupy bay rum type. Instead, we get the chilled clove reminiscent of Old Spice (1937). Avon Cavalier (1989) tried a similar clove-powered oriental/fougère hybrid stance too, but way before this kind of retro was cool again and with almost barbaric blending that renders it too much an anachronistic period piece to be effective. Rive Gauche Pour Homme finds the balance of old and new that other "modern barbershop scents" seem to miss in favor of smelling too old or too modern. The stock parts bin geranium takes us to a base of vetiver, patchouli, and guaiac wood after the clove calms down, with just the slightest tonka and oakmoss touches to root this as a fougère without making it heavy.

Rive Gauche Pour Homme is a typical Tom Ford homage to past masculine glories like what can be found in his own line, but deftly orchestrated by the hand of the capable Jacques Cavallier into something a modern man without such rose-tinted glasses for the past can appreciate. I mean really, who doesn't like that classic smell of "clean and groomed"? Typically in my experience, only contemporary guys obsessed with "fresh" or "sexy" balk at stuff like this, which is part marketing brainwash, and part ulterior motive for why they wear a fragrance, but to each his own. Rive Gauche Pour Homme would spawn two flankers in metal cans, including a light version and an intense version. Sadly all versions are discontinued, with the La Collection reissue series being the last time this saw bottling. YSL just isn't interested in honoring it's masculine perfume legacy anymore (outside 1981's mega-seller Kouros), but this one isn't -quite- a unicorn yet because the barbershop style has gone underground and become the realm of niche perfumers (like the aforementioned Penhaligon's). This means there isn't quite an army of collectors fighting to snap up all surviving inventory just yet, unless you slap "Jean Patou" on the bottle. Bottom line here is you'll smell like the best shave of your life, all day long, so if that sounds like a good fit, then this is your juice. Period. All others can move along, and save the rest for me.
19th March, 2018

Egypt by Eight & Bob

Sweet and slightly spicy fragrance that is more masculine IMO. Starts off nice citrus and lavender. Very clean to my nose. Turns sweet and spicy within minutes. Very enjoyable into the dry down which for me is mostly leather. A winner and my first from the house... Enjoy!
19th March, 2018

Eau de Shalimar by Guerlain

This is a great flanker of the original. I don't get any orange on the top but, I do smell the bergamot and lime. Rose and jasmine in the middle - I smell those, also. the rose, in particular stands out. I think the citrus at the beginning and the rose in the middle are what makes this so different from original Shalimar. The base is classic vanilla and resin. Now and then I get a whiff of iris. A lighter version of Shalimar indeed. I'll stick with my bottles of original and the Mexican Vanilla version. However, there are one or two other flankers I may try in the future.
19th March, 2018

Geir by Geir Ness

The more I wear and smell this, the more it grows on me...I liked it the first time I sampled it , but it just seems to get better the more I smell it...this strikes me as an all- season , all-purpose scent...perfect for the office, family gatherings, a first date , you name it...sweet, but not gourmand...flowery, but not feminine...image I get is standing in a wooded flower garden up in the montains with a fresh soft breeze... fresh and mintlike...citrusy and flowery...agree wholeheartedly with comparisons others have made...there's resemblances to Issey and my nose, this could be a flanker of the Channel Allure Homme line...maybe even a liitle touch of Bleu...bottom line- Fresh Aromatic Citrusy Flower
19th March, 2018

CB Musk by CB I Hate Perfume

I had high hopes for this...I'm always on the lookout for good animalics to add to my wardrobe...well , this turned out to be rather dissapointing...there is a pretty awesome civety musk thing going on , but it's ruined by that funky semirotting fungal smell that others have my nose, I sometimes also get that odor and nosefeel you get from a fresh coat of latex of the few accents I pick up on seems to be cinnamon , and even that smells moldlike and past it's prime...not a bilgy fragrance, but gives me that same yuccky kind of effect I get from bilge...applaud the effort , but no cigar...
19th March, 2018

Rose 31 by Le Labo

The best dirty-rose scent that I've smelled. Has a sexy feel to it from start to finish. I prefer this over Declaration d'Un Soir but both are high on my list of fragrance likes and tops for rose fragrances.

The rose is there throughout but always in support of everything else going on, like the cumin in the beginning and then the soft and spicy, woody drydown.

I actually like this better on my wife, so while I do still think its unisex, it leans feminine to me. I still enjoy wearing it because I just keep smelling it on my skin and thinking how good it smells.

Projection is above average while longevity lasts all workday for me.
19th March, 2018

Dirt by Demeter Fragrance Library

Just judging this for what it is or supposed to be, it's nice and does smell like dirt. I also agree with other comments about "damp leaves". I'm also getting some florals. Yet another Demeter scent that reminds me of working outdoors, but this one is a bit cooler, feels like being out in the yard and working in fall when it's starting to transition to winter.

I get average projection.
18th March, 2018

Snow by Demeter Fragrance Library

Light, earthy, floral scent with something of a menthol feel to it for a cooling effect. Smells like something an older lady might wear or smell like.

Decent projection.
18th March, 2018
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Cannabis Flower by Demeter Fragrance Library

Weed (cannabis) mixed with freshly dug flowers with the dirt still on it. I was thinking this would be a heavier scent but it's actually pretty light and has just a hint of sweetness. I usually really don't like weed smells in a fragrance but this doesn't bother me as much.

Very light projection. You really have to bury your nose in it to get anything.
18th March, 2018

Salt Air by Demeter Fragrance Library

Very floral, synthetic, hand-soap fragrance. It smells very pleasant and nice as a scent alone but it's boring to me. Smells like any number of soaps, air fresheners or lotions.

Decent projection while it lasts.
18th March, 2018

Balenciaga pour Homme by Balenciaga

Balenciaga just simply could not let the old ways go, or so it seemed in 1990 when this thing dropped into stores. From the very first Ho Hang (1971), which is seen as conservative for it's day (yeah, imagine that), through to Portos in 1980, then Ho Hang Club in 1987, The folks who kept restarting the company after the death of Cristobal Balenciaga, multiple times over throughout the years, seemingly kept going back to square one with the masculine offering, which always seemed at the forefront of every house relaunch Balenciaga has had. Each Masculine seems to ignore every effort of the last one for this reason, and just makes another bold introductory statment based on whatever the fashion MO for Balenciaga was at the time. However, with Balenciaga Pour Homme, the company was not rebooting, and it was the second of two male efforts made while the company was still held by Jacques Bogart, who instigated the creation of the dark and virile Ho Hang Club. For Balenciaga Pour Homme, the first proper eponymous "for him" the label had, they spared no expense or effort with their selection of perfumer or design of package. Gérard Anthony was brought in to handle the composition, because of his seminal work with Azzaro Pour Homme in 1978. The blue faux marble plastic cap and white glass with built-in sprayer was reminiscent of a higher-class Lapidus Pour Homme (1987), and the advertisement for Balenciaga Pour Homme read "Balenciaga Pour Homme: The Power of Dreams", which was some pretty pretentious dialog, not gonna lie. Anthony must have been instructed with creating a super masculine animalic wonder juice just like the aforementioned Lapidus, or others in this special category like Kouros (1981), One Man Show (1980), Antaeus (1981), or Sybaris (1988), but with a level of class and refinement that would allow such sexual prowess to exist in an office space.. almost. This leopard still has spots under that bespoke suit.

Balenciaga Pour Homme is a masculine that really shouldn't have existed in 1990 as a new-launch fragrance, since this was the dawn of the aquatic, ozonic, and fresh fougère, with all the old powerhouses and aromatics dying away. Hell, Montana Parfum d'Homme (1989) was practically stillborn when launched, and Aramis would re-shop the same idea minus the heavy oakmoss and plus some bay rum in 1994 as Havana, but here was Balenciaga sticking to their guns in the face of certain failure and releasing another powerhouse, perhaps the last great powerhouse, when the style was already obsolete. Gérard Anthony is a master of any style he chooses to employ, as evidenced by the later Paco Rabanne XS (1993) and Homme de Gres (1996), but here was his "Antaeus" for lack of a better comparison, chock full of manliness, complexity, sensuality, yet ultimately lighter on it's feet than any of it's older peers despite clear lack of restraint. Balenciaga Pour Homme is nearly a powerhouse/oriental hybrid, and opens with cinnamon and coriander, with thyme and bergamot bringing in the fougère brightness. The middle quickly complicates things further with a slew of aromatics, including patchouli, sandalwood, a light cypress, cedarwood, and a touch of honey that keeps this more pleasant than it has any business being. The base is the real shocker: prerequisite oakmoss for the style, and oriental-grade vanilla bourbon, mixed in a boozy rich manner with amber and musk taken right out of a 70's Avon catalog, with benzoin maintaining that sweetness so a note of Oud can come through to provide the animalic growl in place of an actual animalic like castoreum or civet. If you're confused, let me read that back to you: this is an 80's powerhouse fragrance, made in 1990 by the nose of Azzaro Pour Homme, with a base note of very-detectable oud/agarwood which would presage that trend in western perfumery by nearly 20 years. I wouldn't get all crazy and call this some pioneering futuristic oud powerhouse that was flown back in time in a DeLorean to 1990 just to be forgotten, but the thought does cross the mind. What we're left with here is a fragrance that's more than just one foot in the past and one foot in the present.

Balenciaga Pour Homme is not like a lot of things coming out and falling between the cracks in the early 90's, but rather a stylistic chimera that has one of it's heads facing the future while the other two look to the past and the now (for 1990), making this a pinnacle of powerhouse design as it not only incorporated then-relevant oriental richness (which Sybaris has attempted as well to a lesser extent), but also a type of rare aromatic wood that only in modern perfumery has replaced most need for animalic skank, as it casts a long shadow all it's own. Realistically this isn't on any kind of pedestal like my description sounds or else it might still be made like most of it's mentioned peers, but as an example of perfume as art, Balenciaga and Mr. Anthony created something very beautiful here, just with awful timing. This is sort of the younger, sweeter, more sophisticated and groomed brother to Ho Hang Club, which doesn't make it weaker mind you, just more eager to do business. You can't wear this kind of juice every day, it's just so voluptuous and busy in a good way that you almost need to take it in with little else going on around you, and it's far from work or casual use for that reason. Balenciaga PH is almost a personal vacation in and of itself when worn. It's the 80's powerhouse equivalent to that special rare mellow bottle of scotch you only take out for the best of occasions, but as a powerhouse, this will still be limited in appeal to most beyond hobbyists, so you'll want to pass on this if spicy honey-powered oud and oakmoss double-teaming on your nose sounds too overbearing. Balenciaga Pour Homme is yet another niche-quality masculine that could be relaunched as an actual niche scent to great critical acclaim in the modern era, and in smaller 1oz sizes can still be remarkably affordable despite being discontinued for so long. If this style is your thing, this might be your holy grail, or close to it. Otherwise, this is sheer terror in a bottle. Which direction you choose to run is entirely up to you.
18th March, 2018

Green Valley by Creed

Creed has some nice fragrances , but there's a lot I haven't had a chance to sample yet...To give you an idea of my favorite Creeds , I have full bottles of Acier Aluminium , Orange Spice , and Bois de you can see where my main tastes that I've smelled this ultra green citrusy beauty I'm very sad that it's discontinued and going for big bucks because I would have loved to get at least a 30ml split...totally agree with other observations that this is kind of like a blend of GIT and SMW and/or MI...has that overall aura and air about it that , when you smell it , you can right away identify it as a Creed...bottom line - Aromatic Citrus Green
18th March, 2018

Icon Racing by Dunhill

Smells good in a synthetically sweet, fresh way, similar to many modern scents made to appeal to the masses.

My issue with this fragrance isn't the smell but the lack of projection. It became a skin scent very quickly on my skin, which is no good for a scent that should be so mass appealing. If people could smell this, they would like it. Longevity is pretty good, so although it's a skin scent, it does stick around all day.
18th March, 2018

Prelude to Love by By Kilian

I'm on the fence about this day I like it , then I try it some other time , and not so much...its a nice citrusy flavored neroli with a dab of pepper/gingery spice...but , I don't really get anything awesome that makes it stick out from the crowd of similar fragrances...sometimes I get a artificial vibe from it...along with that is the poor longevity and projection that pushes it back even further into the crowd...When I find myself yearning for a neroli fix , a very similar fragrance , that I much prefer over this , is Xerjoff Oroville... bottom line - Mediterranean style citrusy flower...
18th March, 2018

Tabac Blond by Caron

Caron Tabac Blond Eau De Cologne

With all the wonderful praises of the EDP and Parfum I expected to be wow-ed by this. I have been, however it is in quiet contemplation of the structure, balance and non linear composition.
This opens with a splash of the Peppery Aspect of Carnation. Camphour of the same is subdued. Citric or Acid are minimal. Sugar, of which there is a careful balance, is counterpointed by a tannin, perhaps the Lime Blossom.
The scent takes on the Leather aspect of comparable perfumes,in my memory and direct comparison, to first Shalimar without the Guerlain-ade,Habit Rouge without the Incense,the Vibrant Contemporary lipstick of Cuir Cannage and the Godet Cuir de Russie with a little oomph and sexiness. Deep down is a little growl not unlike the Leather of the earliest Bel Ami.
A petroleum lilt is provided which I would guess would be Jasmine.
Iris is blended delicately and provides(for me) a gentle rigidity beautiful and I suspect a waxiness in background, which then blends with Vanilla to provide a semi-dry Talc in drying. I feel the light breeze of Ambergris and volume-nizing of the Oakmoss.
In spite of the Eau strength, I have, a three hour longevity, with a beautiful dry Tobacco nuanced accord and non-stuffy powder.
Although I pick up no smokiness in the scent proper, I played, by applying a light spray of a very smokey, linear Contemporary scent, to one of my girly's Leather jackets,(I'll pay for that later)sniffed and was brought back to moments of High School 70's and friends, who were girls.
At 15, as like most,I a boy, viewed girls, largely from a position clouded by sexual desire.
A girl wearing the Caron, smoking heavily, wearing glossy Lipstick and perhaps a Leather Jacket, the Caron would have added an intoxicating, "Womanly" scent to the mix. That would have had me... tormented.
17th March, 2018 (last edited: 20th March, 2018)

Soir de Paris / Evening in Paris (original) by Bourjois

Procured an old bottle of this, literally across the street at the antique mart. It has held up very well. An old-fashioned blend of bergamot, violet, clover, lilac, dark rose, green jasmine, and styrax. Comes off as aldehydic even though none really exists. It lasts only for a few hours (probably because of its age). I poured this into an atomizer bottle for use. It helps tremendously with the notes identification; the dispersion of molecules, I guess you'd say. I'd classify this as a unisex perfume. It isn't sweet at all.
17th March, 2018

Salvador Dali pour Homme by Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali was certainly one of, if not the most eccentric and avant-garde artist of the 20th century, extending his artistic expression not only on multiple fronts, but through developing personas of his female muses, and his own self-made persona as well, which he portrayed himself in public with for his entire life, flamboyant upturned mustache and all. Dali entered fashion by the 1950's, with Elsa Shiaparelli (famous among perfume collectors for 1937's Shocking), and Christian Dior by the 60's. However, in the twilight of his years, he entered the perfume world, creating a perfume bottle just for his eponymous scent which was crafted in honor of his wife Gala in 1983, a year after her death. The bottle for Salvador Dali Pour Homme was also designed by the esoteric genius, and like the launch feminine, was based on his painting "Apparition of the Aphrodite of Knidos". This very dark and gothic masculine fragrance would be created by famed and now currently Guerlain house perfumer Thierry Wasser, as his first major designer perfume release; think about that next time you go sniffing a modern bottle of Guerlain Homme (2008). Tragically, this signature masculine for Salvador Dali would be released two years before his death, and by that point his health was failing, so I'm not even sure if he wore this himself. What I do know is this is a very captivating and murky animalic-driven masculine that really suits the style of the late artist, and in unsurprising ways for those who know me, suits me quite nicely as well. If nothing else, this scent will get attention wherever it goes, you just have to be okay with it not always being (nor likely to be) positive attention.

To start off, fans of Jacomo de Jacomo (1980) and all it's blackened, smoky, and vetiver-rich character will love Salvador Dali Pour Homme. Essentially SDPH is the halfway point between that erstwhile Jacomo scent and Montana Parfum d'Homme (1989) in terms of balancing sweet and smoke. It doesn't have the island spice elements of the Montana scent, but it does have the roundness and body, being less charred than the burnt vetiver of Jacomo de Jacomo and having a small dollop of castoreum for a funk neither Jacomo nor Montana have. SDPH opens with basil, tarragon, bergamot, the odd choice of tangerine with lemon, and a lavender/anise pairing that gives it a slight nod in the direction of Azzaro Pour Homme (1978). All told this is an armistice of barbershop and boudoir as it is, and it only gets better (or worse) as the heart comes in. Jasmine, heliotrope, the expected geranium, and muguet come into play here, presenting a floral core not dissimilar from the original Fougère Royale (1882) and Zino Davidoff (1986) from the previous year, but while Zino really just toys with animalic growl, Dali lunges. Base notes of leather, dirty musk, amber, patchouli, dry vetiver, cedar and sandalwood mix with benzoin which imparts a semi-sweetness of dried honey, before firming up with just a tad of castoreum, but not as much as One Man Show (1980) or Antaeus (1981). I feel the really raw musk here replaces the need for a heavy hit of the castoreum, and instead Wasser chose to blend the two together to make the sensuality here less foreboding and more of that daring "come-hither" stance. Wasser was composing for Dali after all, and Dali was known to have unorthodox sexual predilections, in addition to not always staying confined to his wife, nor even the opposite sex. Dali Pour Homme is perfectly contradictory, quixotic, and in many ways, surreal just like Dali's paintings and the man himself.

There aren't a whole lot of fougères this brooding, heavy, and even against a backdrop of 80's powerhouses, this scent will cut a path through the room, as everyone's fruit-powered civet bombs or brutal bergamot and moss hammers crash to the floor uselessly in awe of the scent trail you leave. You will either make others feel shocked and hopelessly confused, or hopelessly enthralled by it's captivating power as you wear SDPH, with it's leathery soot-ash warmth, and sweet afterglow, like a fire on it's last embers. SDPH is most certainly not an office or casual scent, and the man who appreciates this will find the appropriate time or place to wear it, even if it does last forever on skin if one does attempt an all-day wear from it. I think it's best on a dinner date, much like other darker masculines from this period, or a night at a cozy club. Being another typical 80's oakmoss-heavy fragrance also means Salvador Dali Pour Homme will be good only for cooler seasons, so no summer use with this one please, unless you plan on choking everyone around you. One fair warning: Les Parfums Salvador Dali would do a lot of cheesy things with Dali's own bottle designs after his death, including reusing them over and over with different colored glass or patterns on both male, female, and unisex fragrances. You will see this bottle in different colors for other scents, particularly those of Dalimix (1996), a unisex contender that also spawned flankers, one in a black gloss version of this bottle as well. If the box isn't gray, the bottle matte black or the sicker on the bottle doesn't say "Pour Homme" on it, then it's a different scent, so don't be fooled. If the late Jason Lee's "The Crow" had a scent, this would undoubtedly be it.
17th March, 2018

L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

I've been wearing samples of L'Heure Bleue edp from various years, and really enjoying it. I get a strong association with nag champa incense sticks, which is the note giving the fragrance so much heft, power, and longevity. It's a note that starts out almost too strong in a way that makes it wonderfully transporting and memorable, and as it develops, it becomes softer, friendlier, and more irresistible.
17th March, 2018

17/17 Symphonium by Xerjoff

Opens up with an amazing mandarin orange then quickly turns into a chocolate/vanilla cupcake type vibe. Truly enjoy this gourmand hopefully Sergio Momo adds this into his full line up and not just an exclusive.

Scent: 9/10
Longevity: 10/10
Sillage: 6/10
17th March, 2018

Charlatan by Fort and Manlé

This is wonderful. I don’t get much chocolate from this, but I do get sweet musky rose, juicy pear, a beautiful sandalwood and an absolutely stunning amber. Longevity is amazing – one spray from my sample bottle this morning, and eight hours later I could still smell it, and it still smelt as great as it did when it first went on. This is a scent you just want to nuzzle into – lovely, cosy, warm and so delicious. I haven’t been able to stop sniffing this all day. A winner for sure.
17th March, 2018

Harem Rose by Fort and Manlé

Beautiful. A soft, musky, dusty rose, underlain with a slight woody note and a touch of incense. It’s not your usual rose scent, not by a long shot. This is not a young, fresh rose – it’s a deeper, darker, more mysterious rose scent. I don’t picture red roses with this – I see fat, fully blown dusky pink roses in a beaten silver rose bowl. Got a compliment on this from a lady in the shop earlier today. Definitely full-bottle worthy.
17th March, 2018

Gucci by Gucci Sport pour Homme by Gucci

Similar to other sport flankers with it's sour, green, fresh citrus. The citrus is there throughout but most prominent in the opening. The drydown is soft and mellow, the cardamom and amber come out to play.

I prefer this to Dior Sport, but it doesn’t perform near as well. The opening projects for the first couple hours and then it sits close to skin for the rest of the workday.
17th March, 2018

Mambo for Men by Liz Claiborne

Mambo seemed to be released at a time when everything Liz Claiborne made for men smelled like Curve (1996), regardless of whether or not it was a Curve flanker. Lucky You for Men (2000) was a licensee scent that was effectively "greener Curve" (and thus better), and Mambo was "spicier Curve", which is a really crass summation of the stuff, but so close to the truth it hurts. The itchy facet of Curve which bothered me so much was also present here, and exacerbated worse by the synthetics and spices on display, making this a big "no-can-do" for me. The problem with Mambo is it obstinately tries to maintain that "90's clean" but head into a full-bodied, more complex direction that orientals or gourmands were starting to take by the early 2000's, and it's a compromise that maybe could have worked (Burberry for Men did it pretty well in 1996), but was gone about in all the wrong fashions by nose Carlos Benaim; certainly not his best work. Laurent Hainaut appears to havd made no other fragrances bottle designs according to basenotes information, and it has me wondering why, because Mambo does get served up in a cool bottle, which was the reason 20-year-old me picked up the thing. Ultimately this went to a best friend who ended up falling in love with this, Curve, and the follow-up Bora Bora (2002), which I was loathe to try after striking out so much with Claiborne.

Mambo has the usual 90's/early 2000's hyperbole exotica notes so I won't list them, as some sound like attempts to put lace on a pig (such as saying lavandin in place of lavender), but what you get here is a very barbershop Curve-like opening that doesn't need describing a second time here. The middle notes are where the spices live, with clove, cinnamon, and cumin joined by geranium, rose, orange blossom and muguet. The cumin here is the only ingredient with a sense of purpose, adding that tell-tale sweatiness that denotes this as "sexier" than it's Curve patriarch, but it's too buried in business anyway. The base is all synthetic sandalwood, patchouli, musk, and fir basalm, the latter of which is too green and throws all the other floral/spicy/vanillic ingredients off course. This was almost a good scent if you took away the itchy chemical top and confused heart/base notes. Remove the florals, remove the green, and bam; this could have been a decent oriental cheapie. As it stands, it's the Toys "R" Us kid of oriental hybrid fougères (ironic that Toys "R" Us goes defunct as I write this), meaning it doesn't want to grow up into a solid masculine, but rather keep meandering with musings, inspirations, and ideas, but never commit to a direction. It's not a very good mambo dancer with two left feet.

This might be okay for the guy that wants to color just barely outside the fresh fougère lines, or the kind of person who just occasionally bumps up from the mild salsa to the medium for a rare bit of pleasure outside the comfort zone, but I've never been that guy to be honest. Even if this thing didn't cause a rapid-fire sneeze fit that lasts all day, I still don't know if I'd be able to handle it's confused and mediocre blending of synthetics and mid-tier elements rebranded as luxury ingredients. This is the fully-loaded entry-level Hyundai of oriental/fougère hybrids. It's certainly no Boucheron Pour Homme (1991) or Dior Fahrenheit (1988), and isn't even on the level of an Avon in terms of risque note interplay. It's blending bites in all the ways it shouldn't, and fails to impress in all the ways it needed to for it to be anything more than a "spicy Curve". I remember seeing this on the clearance counter at the perfume section of Sears (which says a lot), next to other Claiborne men's staples, and it was the only product placement with not a single box touched. I really don't think I need to say any more than that.
17th March, 2018

Rose of No Man's Land by Byredo

Stardate 20180316:

I suppose if you are an injured soldier stuck in battlefield, nothing would smell as sweet as a red cross nurse.
Byredo, tried to create that smell and I think did a good job of it. Rose, soft white florals (no indoles), musk and sweet candy(amber?). I have small complains (too sweet, not dirty enough, little development) but on the whole a nice fragrance. Leans feminine.

And here is the excerpt from the original poem ('s_Land) :

It's the one red rose the soldier knows,
It's the work of the Master's hand;
Mid the War's great curse, Stands the Red Cross Nurse,
She's the rose of No Man's Land.
16th March, 2018

Shiny Amber by Anna Zworykina Perfumes

Shiny amber is a quite pretty spicy/watery amber-based fragrance introducing itself with a sort of neo-victorian (hesperides, poudree amber and jasmine) "aplomb" which is immediately kind of soapy-hesperidic and vaguely anisic at same time. Resins are counteracted by citrus and light/airy watery spices, overall in a quite light and versatile sort of fluidy combination. The citric presence smells classic, structured and more than vaguely "cologney" (conjuring in part a sort of "Guerlain Aqua Allegoria's royal atmosphere"). Ginger provides the initial kind of airy/aromatic/minty/anisic twist. I detect cardamom enhancing the fluidy light spiciness while a benzoinic ambery base is a perfect kind of talky shelter for a dominant jasmine's presence. Dry down, though never groundbreaking, smells more than dignified, drier, mossier and delicately refined. A vibrant, light and versatile amber's implementation which (though always organic and warm) smells kind of neo-classic but at same time cleaner, simpler, vaguely rubbery, delicately powdery and essential. The overall effect smells as a kind of synthesis and re-interpretation of two traditional olfactory dimensions (cologney/hesperidic/naïf and powdery/talky chypre).
16th March, 2018