Perfume Reviews

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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Clubman Musk by Pinaud

The opening brings on the musk - a touch dark, not heavy, and with a slightly fruity citrus undertone initially.

Although this is a musk scent, there is some additional development notable. A floral touch - geranium above all, adds a softer side, whilst gently restrained touches of oakmoss add additional character. A somewhat nonspecific woodsy impression is present towards the end.

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

A simple autumnal musk that has enough development to be interesting. The performance is not great, but it’s label of an After Shave Cologne makes one expect that anyway. 3/5.
22nd March, 2018

Royal Oud by Creed

There's a lot going on here to my nose. I get citrus, spice, smokey woods, musk and something sweet all at the same time in the opening. Comes off as fresh and complex, almost like a smokey soap. Also feels very refined and rich, but not in a mature, old-school way. Young guys 25+ can pull this off just by dressing nicely.

I like the performance on Royal Oud because it projects but doesn't shout. What people do smell is something controlled and well-blended. I get about 6-7 hours of good projection and the a skin scent for the remainder of the day.
22nd March, 2018

Passion for Men by Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor was one of the great actresses of Hollywood's "Golden Age", starting as a child actress and making the leap into stardom as an adult, which was extremely difficult in any age. Her career slowed after the 60's and she became more famous for her many divorces than her films after a time, but she helped start the trend of celebrities curating their own brand outside film/music/sports/TV by launching her own fragrance and jewelry line by the late 80's. Only one masculine scent ever saw release on her label, and it was this one, a masculine flanker to her debut fragrance appearing 2 years after the original feminine. Elizabeth Taylor's Passion for Men has since become a darling of big box stores and discounters everywhere, and the go-to bit of "cut-above" class for the guy that typically doesn't wander outside Coty, Avon, Claiborne, or Jôvan. It's adequate enough as a genre-bridging powerhouse fougère/oriental hybrid, but it's "the works" construction combined with relatively cheap materials hampered it's credibility with connoisseurs, as it ends up with too many irritating edges in spite of itself.

Passion for Men opens with a "vavoom" of notes, including some pretty sugary fig, orange, lemon, and bergamot; it's not quite gourmand territory even though it has as many gourmand notes as some actual gourmands. I remember this being like a fruitier, cheaper Obsession for Men (1986) in the opening, which is one of it's detractors for me. Galbanum, neroli and lavender seek to bring this back in a greener fougère direction, but they hardly succeed before the middle phase, as the fruit is too potent. Spicies in the middle further the oriental connection with Obsession, but this isn't a clone, so once the "everything bagel" that is the middle of carnation, sandalwood, patchouli, cedar, cinnamon, nutmeg, geranium, and balsam fir are through being saucy, we're allowed to catch our breath just long enough for the base. Anyone with experience wearing the feminine Elizabeth Taylor's Passion (1987) knows how dense this journey can be. Tonka, vetiver, styrax, musk, amber, oakmoss, and vanilla seek to suffocate the wearer in a combo of fougère roundness and oriental thickness, like a burger to big to wrap your jaw around, with the itchy sweet fruit opening coming back to haunt when air strikes spots of clothing the scent may have hit. It's certainly a journey and a half, so fans of sheer power won't be disappointed, but there's no grace here, not one iota.

I don't hate Passion for Men, but it's a scent that tries to be too much within the confines of it's budget; Elizabeth Taylor licensed manufacturing and distribution rights to Elizabeth Arden, if that's any indication of the quality, and we're not talking vintage Arden when they fought tooth and nail with Estée Lauder and Revlon, but after Unilever (and ironically Revlon) had gobbled Arden. Passion for Men is a decent enough decadent scent if such a scent is needed on a budget for a coworker's wedding or neighbor's graduation, but it's too tacky for dating and too itchy for my tastes otherwise, as it's clashing top and middle just makes me yearn for better orientals that have more balance. The fruity gourmand-ish top was a novel idea in 1989, but sadly not executed well. Don't let my neutral rating stop you from exploring this however, especially for the price, as pound-for-pound it's great performance for the dollar and an interesting transitional scent at the abutment of decades that may totally work with your tastes and sense of style, it just doesn't work with mine. Shame we never got a male counterpart to White Diamonds (1991), as that might have proven to be a nice generalist.
21st March, 2018
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rbaker Show all reviews
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Flowering Tonka by Demeter Fragrance Library

The name gives it away - tonka and florals. Initially a somewhat nonspecific white floral appears, but soon the tonka arises and gradually takes over. Quite agreeable a tonka it is, but rather mundane and linear too.

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

An autumn scent with somewhat poor performance that is too simple and mediocre to excite. 2.5/5.
21st March, 2018

California for Men by Dana

Rarely do I part with something that I like, but in the case of Jaclyn Smith's California, I felt it was too close to several things I already had, too mediocre in the performance department, and an unjustifiable waste of space at a time in my life that my own living space was limited, so it fell victim to a culling of sorts. It has since fallen out of production and while not quite a unicorn, it has become a little more mystical in price due to ye olde eBay scalpers that always look to send somebody over a barrel for wanting to wax nostalgia. This is one of those things I'd recommend as an affordable alternative if it was still available, because it is quite likeable, but the quality of the scent for the price one now might pay is silly, and I'd rather you save your cash for a decent niche scent instead. As it stands, California for Men is a fougère that blends elements of 80's powerhouses with sunny beach-going vibes that make it easier to use outdoors. Jaclyn Smith herself was a former Charlie's Angels star who transitioned to fashion design, and like Elizabeth Taylor, pioneered the idea of celebrities cultivating their own fashion brands instead of inking deals with other houses or perfumers. Sadly, most of her dealings were with Kmart, whom since being swallowed up by the also-failing Sears, is all but an extinct avenue for her wares, which is why we hear little to nothing of her products outside of jokes at their expense. Ultimately what we get here is a semi-generic but earnest summer scent that is a redressing of older ideas, which ultimately grew less and less appealing as the effort needed to maintain stock of it in one's wardrobe slowly eclipsed it's value and sense of style.

The quickest, easiest, and most concise comparison here is to Guy Laroche's seminal Drakkar Noir (1982), and much of California's DNA can be gleaned from it. Some people also like to compare this to Azzaro Pour Homme (1978) and Aramis Tuscany Per Uomo (1984) and I can totally understand why, but what California shares with them is more abstract in the sense of brighter bergamot tops than the Laroche and an overall more relaxed feel. California sort of meets between the sun-bleached Italian fougère and rich, mossy jazz club juice dressed in black, but comes dressed in sandals and cargo pants. Bergamot and lemon verbena almost go without needing mentioning in the top of this, with rosemary, artemisia, and basil, just like Drakkar Noir. Lavender is moved down into the heart to keep the scent brighter for longer, and shares space with geranium, manadarin, coriander, and cedar. The base has a light dusting of amber, musk, oakmoss, patchouli, fir, and coumarin. This doesn't have any smoke or dryness to it in the end like others of it's ilk, and just remains a pleasant, casual, if somewhat fleeting fougère, like a powerhouse de-fanged to seem less out-of-place as the 90's began. It mostly worked, but due to the shakey ground on which Jaclyn Smith did business, distribution and manufacture for this kept shifting, making this fall in and out of production enough to make anyone who liked it eventually give up on it out of frustration, like myself.

Once, twice, three times this changed brands over the years, and I suppose the three-strikes rule applies here since the last house to acquire California dumped it after only a year of return to the market. Beyond Jaclyn Smith's own eponymous label, California was picked up by drugstore cosmetics firm Max Factor, whom at the time had been waning from the fragrance market anyway, but after the turn of the millenium, ended up selling the line to Dana, who made a huge push on the scent then dropped it year later, with newly-designed bottles missing their etched logo caps and having plain brass slip-over tester-style caps being bundled in gift sets and sold in Walmart into the late 2000's. It was like seeing factory seconds refurbished and sold as holiday exclusives, and very sad, which is why I divested myself of California for Men in the end. It was like shopping at the aforementioned Kmarts once home to the Jaclyn Smith brand: perfectly adequate, but uninspiring, which could be overlooked if not for the fact that watching it slowly plummet on life support into oblivion was so damn depressing. A fragrance that is more or less advertised as bottled sunshine should be anything but depressing. If you're looking for a lighter free-wheeling alternative to an 80's powerhouse fougère, just buy Azzaro or Tuscany Per Uomo and call it a day. Typically this would be a thumbs up because it is a nice smell, but my neutral rating reflects the bad taste left behind trying to own this as part of a regular rotation.
21st March, 2018

L'Esprit Divin by Paul Emilien

Excellent "rose/saffronish oudh driven" combo based on a classic connection of saffron, dusty mild spices, an earthy musky violet leaves/rose-accord (royal and neo-Victorian a la Floris Royal Arms Diamond Edition) and woods a la Dueto Parfums City Oud, Perris Montecarlo Rose de Taif or Tiziana Terenzi Gold Rose Oudh although this juice is turned out particularly intense by creamy spices, grapefruit, frankincense and by a final warmly virile animalic note (probably an oudish/musky/rosey civet a la Dusita Oud Infini). Since the opening the dominant floral accord smells earthy and leafy for a while on my skin. A messy tornado of further elements (herbal notes, amber, may be myrrh, floral notes and tobacco leaves) enhances the complexity of the olfactory orchestra. The highly resinous/rosey/animalic spiciness (finally more ambery than musky) conjures me decidedly the Cerchi Nell'Acqua Usmar Venezia's regal balmy/soapy Rinascimental exoticism. Spices and tobacco provide structure and solidity. Paul Emilien L'Esprit Divin is one of the rare resinous oudh/rose's structured renditions. An almost tribal and ritual blend of spices and resins which will definitely inebriate your senses.
20th March, 2018 (last edited: 22nd March, 2018)

Fan di Fendi pour Homme Assoluto by Fendi

Light, smokey cedar, kinda like incense, plus some sweetness and cardamom. It's like a lighter Dirty English that's been modernized.

Feels like a good cold weather scent and more appropriate for formal than casual.

It projects nicely for 3-4 hours and then settles. What's left is little sniffs of the fragrance throughout the workday.
20th March, 2018

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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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

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
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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

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

Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This is kind of gross. Smells like sourness and cumin/oud/b.o.
Really no roses at all. It's oddly compelling, but it doesn't stink purty at all. All of these rosy, glowing reviews are... not the truth for me.
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

Fruit Wood by Pell Wall Perfumes

At last I am able to provide a positive review for a scent from this house, and what a pleasure it is.

First, a few caveats. "Fruit Wood" is an unappealing name. The company's web site refers to various notes that are not present in the pyramid (in particularly, the eponymous woods: rosewood, sandalwood). And the idea of there being "two scents in one" here could alternatively be accounted for by the usual development and movement through the notes of any personal fragrance.

That aside, FW certainly delivers what it claims to. The opening is a fizzy, lemon-citrus burst, with a slightly herbal tinge. The woody base comes on slowly, with just the right amount of sweetness and spice to counter the dryness of the woods. This makes it a rewarding and interesting wear for the duration. It is little more than a skin scent on me (although my usual observation applies, that is, the scent was applied through a sample atomiser), but has good persistance and evident good quality across all stages. So many woody scents become too austere in the base for my tastes, but FW escapes this trap. An extremely well crafted fragrance in my book. A shame that the name is descriptive rather than evocative, as the scent could surely have wide appeal.
18th March, 2018

Givenchy III by Givenchy

Why I love vintages...

As soon as I smelt this one, it took me right back to the reason why you can't beat a vintage chypre. There's something about the fresh combination with the oakmoss and delicate florals done right that just allures and entices you. Truly a lot of French fragrances made during this era were exceptional, composed with care and artistry.

I get a lot of the fresh floral & slightly fruity citrus top, with the galbanum and jasmine coming in, balancing the harsh bitterness and the dusty oakmoss with a vibrant hint of citrus and bright floral. The orris root, sandalwood, lily-of-the-valley and even coconut come together absolutely wonderfully here, with a honeyed gardenia note that compliments other white florals and even hyacinch. Really a fragrance which is multi-faceted and extremely well put together and enjoyable. It's a joy to wear and defies gender classification in my opinion. I'm wearing the vintage eau de toilette and it's really something else. I can't speak for modern formulations or versions but if you do get a chance to try vintage and you are a chypre fan just buy it. If you like Mitsouko and No. 19 then this is a great and unique companion to them. One which has to be experienced. Exceptionally good and what real perfumery is all about.
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)