Perfume Reviews

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Tabu by Dana

I’ve avoided this for years, for various reasons, largely because of my husband, as it has bad associations for him. There are good associations too, but the bad outweigh the good. The good: his mum, who is an awesome lady, used to wear it all the time (and very occasionally will still wear it now), however on her it’s really quite sweet, and she tends to douse herself in it. The bad: a lady with whom he used to work, and whom he loathed (with good reason), tried hitting on him a couple of times. She used to drench herself in the stuff, so he was really, really rabidly anti-Tabu for a loooooong time. I wasn’t bothered either way myself, so I bypassed it and haven’t tried it for at least a dozen years. And yes, there was a teensy bit of perfume-snobbery too – partly because of the lady from his work (she really was a heinous witch) and I didn’t want to smell like her, but partly because here in Australia it’s more often than not on the “$10 and under” table at chemists everywhere, so I equated ‘cheap’ with ‘nasty’; again, more of an association thing rather than outright dislike, as I hadn’t smelled it in years and wouldn’t have known it if it had come up and bitten me. I can’t quite figure out why Tabu gets such a bad rap here in Australia, but it does. Anyhow, after reading the reviews on this website, and seeing various comparisons, I thought I really should give it another go. So when I was out at the shops earlier, I spritzed some on from a tester and waited to see how it went. I’m so glad I did – this is lovely! This is all musky spice on me – I get a lot of clove from this, but thankfully it’s not as burny on my skin as some other scents that contain clove can be on me. I get the orange and the amber as well. We have these lollies here called fizzy cola bottles – this makes me think of them. It’s a good thing, so don’t worry – maybe this is the root-beer smell people are referring to? I can’t say as I can’t think of a root-beer equivalent here in Australia (ginger beer or sarsaparilla maybe?), but I do like it. I now have a tiny bottle, which I picked up at K-Mart for $11. I think layering this with a vanilla scent (such as Reminiscence Vanille) or, as someone suggested elsewhere, a musk (like Jovan), would be rather nice. Three hours on and it had settled into a softly spiced creamy powder. Eight hours on and it's still there, but softer and still lovely. Definitely glad I have this in my stable. And my husband hasn’t commented on it – I deliberately marched past him a bunch of times after I’d re-sprayed from my bottle, and gave him kisses, and he hasn’t spontaneously combusted (phew!), so hopefully he’s over his anti-Tabu phase! I’m not gonna tell him I’ve got it either – I’ll just wear it and see what he says if he notices it ;)
01st October, 2016

Petit Matin by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Clean smelling like sheets freshly laundered using a generic washing detergent. Trouble is I can buy 8 oz of Orange Blossom water for a song. Sprinkle over my sheets as I make the bed and it smells better.
Too generically boring and with the Ambroxan breathiness it adds insult.
MFK has some astounding scents, this ain't one.
01st October, 2016

Baptême du Feu by Serge Lutens

While I think Serge still has some major cleaning up to do following the utter mess he's made over the last few years, there's a faint echo of the line's apex here. Some of the weird, winey, fruity, woody-gourmands like Chene and Chergui are mirrored here, but it's closer to Xerjoff's Red Hoba than anything — only several decibels lower. For the first ten minutes it smells like chewy cinnamon candy — a touch mentholated for ventilation (think red vines, only less saccharine and more rich). A slight cosmetic floral effect is mapped onto a tame cashmeran for a creamy, velvety texture. After the opening fades away (very fast, unfortunately), that's really what you're left with: a savory take on cinnamon candy masquerading as a plush albeit diaphanous fabric. While it does get your attention, it doesn't hold it for long.
01st October, 2016
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Le Jardin de Monsieur Li by Hermès

This is the ethereal presence of a green floral water garden. I smell the zest of green citrus, light jasmine, lilacs, green leaf and ozonic watery lightness. This is an extremely fresh fragrance and is completely unisex although it is a light floral - it is very refreshing and uplifting. Mr. Elena created a beauty with this new garden series addition. Thumbs up!
01st October, 2016

Peau d'Espagne by Santa Maria Novella

Stardate 20160930:

Finally a leather that smells like leather. If you go to the modern shoe shine and leather repair shops at Grand Central you will smell Peau d'Espagne.
It is the combination of leather, show polish and whatever fragrance they use.
I get a strong "paan" note which to me implies presence of rose, clove, other spices and perhaps some musk.
Much much better than K10 or russian leather.
FB for sure
01st October, 2016

Jubilation XXV by Amouage

I have joined the fan club for this one: a warm, smoky, slightly sweet oriental, with a dash of immortelle. The smokiness ties it together and sets it apart.
01st October, 2016

Cadavre Exquis by Bruno Fazzolari

Stardate 20160930:

Imagine a curry made by someone who has never cooked before. Then add a lot of tootsie roll into it and cook for an hour. Then add some bad old chocolate.
That would be more edible then this is wearable.

If the recipe excites you then go ahead and try it. I dare you.
01st October, 2016

Riviera Dream : Orange Flower by Ralph Lauren

There's a gourmand element to the base of this (I thought of graham crackers) that smells different from some of the harsh synthetic bases I've smelled recently, but overall it's a bit cloying and potentially headache inducing. I almost like it. I think a waft in passing would smell nice.
30th September, 2016

Jubilation XXV by Amouage

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Absolutely fantastic scent. Ridiculously well blended. Oscar Mike Golf this is awesome. It's honey sweet slightly spicy slightly woody... with slight oud notes... Just stunning. For the price I would try before you buy if possible. Enjoy!
30th September, 2016

Missoni Uomo by Missoni

Stardate 20160930:

I think this is an unfinished work. Could have been great if it was developed a little bit more.
Lot so different notes here spices, incense, leather and sweet vanilla/amber.
Unfortunately, spices and especially coriander seed (it is not cumin) overpower this blend. The others stays muted and I wish they did not.
At the current prices I cannot recommend it
30th September, 2016

Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens

Stardate 20160930:

Amber Smoke with hint of fruit,spices and Vanilla.
It has a hint of tang (perhaps currant) that gives it the edge over others.
A nice soft fragrance that is very unisex.
A perfect way to uplift a cold and bleak day
Highly recommended (but not at the retail price)
30th September, 2016

Al Oudh by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I was sent a Vintage 2011 sample of this charmer. I hope it hasn't been reformed as this is as Symphonic as my Bel Ami.
I am always taken by perfumes that can capture the Mentholated top note of Cardamom.
This stuff smells like I've eaten a Curry made for a Monarch, Cardamom Yeast Donuts continuously for days, without bathing.
Glorious stuff!!
30th September, 2016

No. 18 by Chanel

The Chanel Oddball. First glance seems almost futuristic.
Ginger Ale opening. Then it seems an abstract artist's notion. The Ambrette has me streaking across the Universe to meet a singular note of a Floral Essence Rose perfection. Then a snap back to a notion of something Icy
and soul-less. Pure and Austere.
Very soon it fades into a memory.
Beautiful and almost Transcendent.
30th September, 2016
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Midnight Poison by Christian Dior

Goodness! I had no idea I would enjoy this little gem so much!

I found a mini for sale on ebay and it came in the mail today. Upon application, it was extremely LOUD and yelled HELLO! I AM ON YOUR WRIST! I thought "well damn, here is money down the drain". But I waited (thank goodness! price/ml was not low!), and it paid me back in spades in the dry-down - oh boy - this will have my paycheck...so pretty...the bottle is gorgeous as well!

Rose and Patchouli done VERY well. Just let the screaming citrus do its thing like a temperamental two year old, and you'll be fine - really!
30th September, 2016

No. 5 Eau Première by Chanel

When the original version had just come out, I actually stopped a young woman in the street to find out what she was wearing - in her wake was the most airy, delicate, magical, unidentifiable floral, and I was confused when she said it was No. 5. I eventually figured out that it was a new release and tried it on myself, though it wasn't as fabulous on me, so I moved on.

I tried Eau Premiere again today, while trying the new L'Eau, and I didn't think that much of it while I was in the air-conditioned store. But about a half-hour later I was back out in the blazing, gritty heat, and it came wafting up to my nose like fairy dust and brought a gentle, civilizing tone to my hectic afternoon.

I came home with a big bottle!
30th September, 2016

Happy for Men by Clinique

STRONG and I mean STRONG long lasting citrus scent from Clinique that in my opinion varies very little from the female version... At least within the first 2 hours on skin then does dry into a slightly musky dry down but still strong on the citrus. Great quality for the juice and worth the asking price. Enjoy!
30th September, 2016

Symphonie-Passion by Unum

Symphonie Passion is surely a more urban Unum's aromatic experience. Supremely woody-cardamomish. Finally a dynamic (and more ordinary) scent from this "appalling" italian house, something closer to a banal office (or meeting room) than to liturgic and esoteric dodgy ambiences. A cedary-spicy (vaguely pencil shavings) vetiver for us. I get mostly cardamom, lime, vetiver, pine, bergamot and virginia cedar. Peony enhances the general "watery-aquatic" (but never ozonic) atmosphere. Honestly I don't see how could not be listed cardamom which is heady on my skin on the side of vetiver. I agree with Alfarom, I was expecting something more "spectacular", something like a floral/fruity symphony or stuffs like that but all I get is a sharp, wet, earthy, salty, cedary vetiver (elegant and austere). Yes I get the Sycomore's reference but mostly I pick up connections with "early bird" scents (each one for specific reasons) a la 7 de Loewe, DsQuared2 He Wood, KenzoAir, Terre d'Hermes, Rouge Bunny Rouge Tundra, CdG Wonderwood or Clive Christian X for men (vaguely Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet at the very least). Dry spicineness gives for a while a frankincense's illusion but this is basically the effect elicited around by black pepper/cardamom combined with the sharp vetiver's earthiness. This aroma is classy, fresh, aromatic, somewhat natural, distinguished and clean. Arid/stuck cedary sharpness is "watered down" by a "fluidy" and more fizzy vetiver-cardamom accord (remotely reporting on mind the Cartier Declaration/Frapin L'humaniste's sparkling-liquid exoticism). Dry down is even saltier and sharper. A solid day-time formal fragrance surely specific for business and office.
29th September, 2016

Jubilation XXV by Amouage

Stardate 20160929:

It is sweet, woody, oudy and amazing. The notes pyramid does not do it justice. While there are many notes, there is no cacophony, just harmony.
All notes sing together and you cannot tell them apart. A very well-blended mixture this is.

Subtle and long lasting. A big thumbs up
29th September, 2016

Antaeus by Chanel

Thumbs up for vintage and current formulations of Antaeus. I've been wearing vintage Antaeus more than any other fragrance over the last couple years, and it combines intriguing smell with fantastic performance, a fragrance of considerable gravitas, an outlier even among the great fragrances released around the same time, featuring an animalic base, a touch of honey, and strong, peppery woods and patchouli.

The current version being sold during 2016 is also nice, although different enough to be a different scent altogether and not just a reformulation, and much lighter. It only retains a light touch of the character of the original, which is disappointing, but it does bring something new to the experience - a deft sweetness, a smooth, modern politeness, and an office-friendly scent bubble. I think it caters to modern tastes as something that won't impose on others, but being so light gives it an underwhelming performance that's disappointing relative to the original. If someone is looking for something light to wear to the office, this could be a good option.
29th September, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Très Jourdan by Charles Jourdan

The fruity opening is loaded towards apricot and distinctly peachy sides, with the raspberry remaining in the background on me. The heart notes constitute a determined shift towards the heavily floral, with lily-of the valley, rose and jasmine forming a triumvirate of floral supremacy; only occasionally is the initial fruitiness shining through.

The base notes are centred around white musk and vanilla, with the latter adding more sweetness to what the previous components already contributed to this creation. The sweetness with the musk works quite well and develops light and elegant rays of a restrained lipstick accord with whiffs of a bright and youthful powderiness towards the end.

The sillage is moderate, the projection very good, and the longevity amounts to six hours on my skin.

This is a confidently sweetish-fruity-floral spring scent, which seems to target the gender-stereotype of the young and girly TYTs. This is congruent with the design of the very chic bottle, which reflects the elegant lines of Charles Jourdan's famous shoes of the period with their famous transparent ultra-high heels. Whilst many houses nowadays seem to presume that this target group only deserves trashy perfumes, Très Jourdan shows that there is an alternative: a sweetish, playful and colourful creation with a touch of substance, the average Victoria's Secret with a touch of class and quality so to speak. Not a great one but a fun one, with ingredients of acceptable quality. For those who don't like its sweetness this might not be the right choice. 3.25/5.

TYT here = trendy young things.
29th September, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

No. 5 L'Eau by Chanel

The fresh, summery opening notes are heavily weighted towards citrus, with hedione and aldehydes forming an underlying carpet of crispness that combines very nicely with the citrus components. This is, however, not a direct burst of invigorating freshness but more a restrained freshness with a touch of elegance. This opening is done nicely. Alas I am not so sure all the subsequent notes are too.

The paradigmatic and iconic rose chord that is a central part of the original No.5 is quite toned down hereand additional floral tones are added, mainly ylang-ylang on my skin. The base is really a weak spot here, with the woodsy as well and the musky constituents being too generic to be able to follow on with the standards set by the top notes; it is quite a disappointment.

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

This is a bloodless shadow of the original, but it is quite nice overall. Chanel certainly has created worse scents in the more recent past, and this is definitely not one of their best works. It is hard to score, hovering just between the border between neutral and positive. Unfortunately, the outright generic synthetic character of the base really spoils it a bit, whilst on the other hand there is a touch of elegance permeating the whole development, albeit only a far-flung echo reflecting from the grand original version. In the end it - just - scrapes home by the skin of its teeth. 3/5
29th September, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Love Me by Victoria's Secret

A nonspecific white floral note - sweet and quite permeating in this - is followed but a fresher drydown. A light neroli impression do it's the drydown, but it is not very a very typical neroli and it lacks any texture.

Later an very bland ambery-musky base develops that fades out gradually.

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

Victoria's Secret has a penchant for penetrating my and nauseatingly sweet creations - that is no secret. In its sugary candy quality this spring scent is quite typical for this house, and its very generic and synthetic nature does not help. 1.75/5.
29th September, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Night Eau De Parfum by Victoria's Secret

This is a refreshing detour from the sickly sweetening usual VC offerings. It starts with a fruity mix, with fresh plum, hints of apricot, and is not unpleasant.

The drydown consists of a nonspecific woodsy impression, with an underlying fruitiness still less present, but overall lacking prominent sweetness on my skin.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity.

A pleasant spring scent, not particularly sweet but quite synthetic. Still, not bad for VC albeit nothing special either. It has a touch of being less frivolous and is suitable for evenings, but in spite its name it is not restricted to that time of the day. 2.75/5.
29th September, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

cK one Red Edition for Her by Calvin Klein

There is a fruity-green top note duo that starts off quite pleasantly, but pleasantly without being special in any way.

The drydown is hailed by a bouquet of nonspecifically floral nature, which is leading to a patchouli-lite impression; this combines with a very dull white musk.

He sillage is soft, the projection adequate and he longevity four hours.

A rather bloodless spring concoction, generic and synthetic, not unpleasant but without individuality. 2.5/5.
29th September, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

cK In 2 U HEAT Him by Calvin Klein

The lemony too note is the cor accord is this creation, together with an underlying green tint. This is quite pleasant.

In the drydown a woodsy component develops, which is paired with a fruity vibe and a rather generic white musk base.

The sillage is soft, the projection limited and the longevity three hours.

A pleasant summer mix, very synthetic, generic and quite mediocre. 2.75/5.
29th September, 2016

Oud by Robert Piguet

Nice complexity, and a strong, long lasting fragrance. It has an edge that's almost too much; I'm torn between thumbs up and neutral, but the ambition pushes it into thumbs up territory. I'm wearing the last of the sample, but I think this is something that would grow on me more over time. The oud this is named after is a minor player. This smells like something that could gather a following.
29th September, 2016

White Flowers by Creed

I suddenly realized which perfume is the soul sister of this- it is the crisp green apple of 'D&G Light Blue'. And the sharp clean Jasmine with the white musk. I'm surprised at the lackluster reviews for this one. I first fell for 'Jardin D'Amalfi' but this one has moved into first place. I just love the sharp green violet leaf here. Such tang and spark. The surprise here is that for a white floral, this is fresh, not cloying. A real springtime treat. I get good silage and longevity, too. 2-3 hours.
29th September, 2016

Yatagan by Caron

Yatagan came out in 1976, four years before Bogart One Man Show, but having smelled One Man Show first, that's what this one reminds me of, although this edges the Bogart for pleasant refinement. An excellent choice for cigarette smokers and non-smokers alike. This is great - the woodsy, castoreum base is impressively well done, and the fragrant notes laid over the top add a nice balance.
28th September, 2016

Eau de Cologne Impériale by Guerlain

I had tried and really liked the current formulation, but did not need that much juice, so I hesitated purchasing. About a week ago, I found one of the older 30 ml bottles that were made in the Louis the XVI style bottle (mine was sealed and in a zebra box, so likely from the 80's, though possibly later).

I really LOVE the scent now! It seems brighter (if that could be possible) and the lavender is less heavy (at least that is my impression). Longevity is still an "issue" but as it was never meant to last, I don't really consider it a factor. Projection is minimal, making it a rather personal or intimate scent, perfect to enjoy for the sake of its pleasure, or for the sultriest of summer days.
28th September, 2016

Montana Parfum d'Homme (original) by Montana

The Brutal start has an accord that has me shy away. Something about it screams sweetish"Generic Leather". Then Whoa!!
Extraordinarily beautiful Masculine Dry Air Landscape bouquet, that has me mounted, boots in the stirrups, Gallon hat, eyes squinted, surveying my Ranch Kingdom.
28th September, 2016
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