Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 130480

Number 3 / Le 3me Homme / The Third Man by Caron

For the seventh installment of 'Where did my review from several years ago go?' I will be looking at The Third Man.

It sounded great on paper, so a few years back I purchased a small decant from the Perfumed Court. My immediate impression was wonder of sorts, concerning how a perfume could come off as so natural and suave while also being that strong. In most cases you might get one or two of the three, but this really has it all. We see here the vanilla and lavender of Pour un Homme matched with some bright-as-day bergamot, a licorice-y anise ( a mixture which would be often copied in the decade to come), a swoon-inducing floral heart starring carnation and rose, and a deep, rich bed of tonka and moss. I echo here what many have said before, in that I wish the opening lasted longer (if not forever), but the total experience is decadent and lavish, with a natural yet manicured build like an English country garden in a velvet evening suit. I can think of few parallels to this level of quality in terms of blending, progression, and overall scent. I have tried two vintages so far, both of which are almost frustratingly attractive, like I am insulting the brand by not having a perfect face to match. This is one of the greatest lavenders out there, a real fougere paradise. My only caveat about its use is that, if over-applied re-applied throughout the day, the base becomes thick and stagnant, so watch the trigger.
27th September, 2016
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States

No. 89 by Floris

I have been a pushover for Floris ever since I entered their premises for the first time, which was long, long ago (Jimmy had just handed the gavel to Maggie that very year….). They have some really good scents but more than that, they have character and stamina and charm. Well-made and… well, very British. Now, of course, Floris is pushing boundaries and making a new heritage for themselves; back then, they were just as pleased as Punch with the status quo. Squarely in the middle of that is No. 89. Launched in 1951, it is perfectly in sync with its time—a nod to the past, a hope for a better tomorrow and—hopefully, a return to business as usual (remember, there was still rationing in England as late as 1954). The fact that it became Ian Fleming’s favorite scent didn’t hurt….. One of the few scents that I could imagine both Anthony Eden and Anthony Armstrong-Jones wearing. And Quentin Crisp, for that matter.
Floris No. 89 has a soapy, eau de cologne/Neroli opening that smells as if you had just bathed with 4711 soap. How reassuring that must have seemed to a generation for whom simple things like soap and hot water were a luxury. Luxury? Do you want luxury? As if on cue, a luxurious note of roses and nutmeg enters the scene, reminding us that glamour is not just in the purview of the ladies. Before you can say ponce, the manly woods and grasses bring the whole thing home, safe as houses. Old school? Oh, yes. I feel a glass of port coming on even as we speak. For a younger man who wants to get his Jermyn Street rocks off, this would be just the thing. For the rest of us, this is a clean, discretely luxurious classic scent that speaks to the pinstriped spycatcher in all of us. And don’t fool yourself—he is there within us all. And he is wearing Floris No. 89.
27th September, 2016

No. 5 L'Eau by Chanel

A nice, fresh No. 5 flanker, unisex enough for me, with a soft, fruity smell. It dries to a beautiful floral, agreeable and easy to wear.
26th September, 2016 (last edited: 27th September, 2016)
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Zagara e Patchouli by Dr. Vranjes

An exquisite balsamic soapy-orangy patchouli rich of cologney naïf exoticism, citrus-flowers, Mediterranean arcane remembrances and barber-shop clean (lauderette) classicism. Zagara e Patchouli is surely one of the top Dr Vranje's performances exuding precious discretion and victorian structured aristocracy. There is a touch of dry-bitter orangy/licoricey piquant vibe in the central stage and along dry down and it contributes to build final restraint and mysterious virility. I get a sort of minty-balsamic kind of musky-pheromonal twist conjuring me vaguely Aqua Flor Sultan or further mystic italian apothecarian dodgy diableries (down the neo-classic animalic/musky apothecarian range -- Aqua Flor, Bogue, several old school Farmacia SS Annunziata's, I Profumi di Firenze's or Ortigia's issues jump vaguely on mind). The neroli/bergamot-centered aromatic combo is hyper classic, mossy, laundry and soapy-chypre in a way you can report on mind the most straightforward pieces of the old-school soapy-chypre (british in style) era. This juice is quite peppery till the end. Dry down is quite balmy, spicy and delicious (but still stiff, kind of aldehydic and restrained). In conclusion Zagara e Patchouli is all about measured discretion and old-style idea of virile toiletries. A fragrance for a man of honor, soul of integrity. Solid structure and forbidding class. Medium durability.
26th September, 2016

Fahrenheit 32 by Christian Dior

A dark, harsh, chemical-smelling Fahrenheit flanker.
26th September, 2016

David Yurman Limited Edition by David Yurman

I’ve had to re-test this fragrance several times, because in the very short time it takes for my mind to wander off, the scent performs such a 180 on my skin that I keep wondering what perfume I actually have on.

The second part is so completely removed from the first that it’s like wearing two different perfumes. If you’re not sniffing your arm like a hawk and focusing intensely, you might miss the transition completely and wonder what the hell just happened to the dark rose fragrance you originally put on. Because what I end up with is a smooth, boot-polish leather that feels texturally very close to Tuscan Leather.

And I know I didn’t start out with Tuscan Leather. David Yurman Limited Edition starts off on a beautifully rose note, roughly hewn and set in a dry smoky haze of oud and spices. It feels slightly green and herbal. That rose is really excellent quality. I can tell that the oud is the standard synthetic variant out of either Firmenich or Givaudan, but the rose smells like a really high quality Taif rose oil. It is bright, sharp, and lemony – almost harsh at first, but then loosening out into something sweeter.

Quite quickly. I lose the moist, fleshy parts of the rose, but what remains of the rose oil are the germanium-green and lemony-sharp facets, leaving their high-pitched, oily traces on all the other notes.



The base – which comes on very fast and surprised me every time – is a dusty vetiver leather with a fruity, boot-polish note lent by the raspberry. The combination comes off as dry and slightly musky and is very close to the way Tuscan Leather smells in its far drydown.

The raspberry note doesn’t smell like a fresh raspberry, but adds this strange, solvent-like tone to the leather. I have noticed this plasticky, boot-polish like effect of the raspberry note in two fragrances thus far: Tuscan Leather and Impossible Iris (Ramon Monegal). It is very appealing, because it adds a modern edge to the musky, sawdusty leather accord.

I like this perfume very much, and I’m given to understand that it’s not that expensive either. It is extrait-strength, so it is long-lasting. Unusually for an extrait, it projects quite powerfully too.

Many quote this as a great rose-oud-leather fragrance for men, and I agree. In fact, it’s a creditable alternative to Portrait of a Lady or Tuscan Leather if you’re on a budget. It might also do the trick for fans of Atelier Cologne’s Oud Sapphir. I’m not saying it rivals their quality, but for the price, it gives you a smoky, oudy rose over leather that lasts all day. For most, that will do the job.

26th September, 2016

Oud Wood by Tom Ford

I’m surprised that nobody’s mentioned the fact that Oud Wood smells a lot like Dzongkha. Specifically, the oily, rubbery cardamom that adds a green, celery-seed-like note to the composition in both fragrances, setting their character dial at once to the savory (as opposed to sweet).

It’s interesting to me the way the different facets of the fragrance – the green spice of the cardamom, the smooth woods, and the oily/industrial facets – add up to a smell that is recognizably “oudy” without ever really smelling like oud when you smell it up close, on the wrist. Once you draw your head back, the disparate parts seem to coalesce into one amalgamated flow of fresh, green oily oud wood.

It smells wonderful – smooth, integrated wooden parts with a rich fleshiness or milkiness to the base. It smells impersonal, too, like a much-admired building in an award-winning industrial complex. It doesn’t have a soul, so it’s easy to make it one’s own. There is something creepy about it, and yet also mesmerizing, like that video that’s been doing the rounds lately with the papier mache, robot-controlled faces biting and licking at each other.

It strikes me easily as masculine but not in a butch way that would preclude me from wearing it. Actually, I guess it is truly genderless, or rather, sexless – as sexless as a Ken doll. I love its creepy, putty-like texture. It’s almost off-puttingly smooth.

My husband liked this sample. It smells expensive and luxurious, he noted. I should mention that my husband loves pure oud oil, and because I test a lot of it, he is familiar with many different oud profiles and has come to love the fiercely animalic ones.

These are his comments: “I really like this. But that’s not oud. It is very safe-smelling. I would recommend it to people who wear suits. Real oud oil smells crazy, wild. It doesn’t have limits. This fragrance does have limits. I suppose that’s what makes it perfect for the workplace.”
26th September, 2016

Tasmeem by Rasasi

Tasmeem Man doesn’t start out too promisingly, with a sweet, powdery floral musk that feels utterly generic and faceless. But I know that some Arabian cheapies (both oils and EDPs) need some time to settle before revealing their true character, and this was the case with Tasmeem Man.

Eventually the scent smoothes out into a sweet, powdery tonka-based scent, with a trace of rose and vanilla. I thought I also picked up a bit of cumin, which my husband confirmed when smelling it blind.

I quite liked Tasmeem Man, and it is excellent value. Tonka is a trendy note in modern masculine designer scents, so it reminded me quite a bit of other men’s fragrances, in particular, the tonka-heavy Midnight in Paris. However, there is something pretty cheap and generic about it that puts me off. It is partially the source material – there is often something a little cheap-smelling about the almond aspect of tonka and/or coumarin, to my nose at least. I also find it excessively sweet and powdery (with a hint of sweaty armpit lurking beneath).
26th September, 2016

Tabac Rouge / Turkish Blend by Phaedon

Many people prefer Tabac Rouge over Tobacco Vanille because it is much lighter, has ginger instead of clove, and more honey than heavy vanilla. Oh, and the price, of course – although not massively cheap, Tabac Rouge costs far less than Tobacco Vanille.

I agree that Tabac Rouge smells like Tobacco Vanille. But as with Meharees (Musc Ravageur clone) and Dolcelixir (Ambre Narguile clone) and yes, even Oud Black Vanilla Absolute (SDV clone), the resemblance is skin-deep really, based on a superficial reading of the notes. The biggest difference between these clones and their source material is texture and weight. And a whole world of difference can be found in the small detail of texture and weight.

Tabac Rouge catches all the notes of Tobacco Vanille, but in a kind of “skim-reading” type of way. The difference is, like I said, in the small matter of texture and weight. Tabac Rouge has the texture of hot, clear tea. A sparkling ginger note is an improvement over the (frankly) awful, metallic clove note in TV, but that contributes further to the feeling of spicy, lively winter tisane rather than the thick duvet feeling I get from TV. It is as sweet as TV, but derives its sweetness from honey rather than from dried fruit. (Honey is yet another element that makes me think of tea).

I think that it smells great, though, and I would certainly buy this. It would suit warmer weather than Tobacco Vanille, due to its relative sheerness, and for this reason alone, it is by far the more versatile fragrance of the two.
26th September, 2016

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

Tobacco Vanille is luxuriously, ludicrously rich and heavy – it smells like you are wearing an overstuffed armchair, upholstered with the most expensive materials known to man. It is famously sweet, but its sweetness derives from delicious dried fruits, prunes, and bitter chocolate, all aspects of the rich tobacco absolute used.

People complain about the vanilla, saying that it smells like a holiday candle. Hey! Point me in the direction of a candle that smells as good as Tobacco Vanille and I will buy the shit out of that. Until that happens, shut up. Tobacco Vanille is a thick scent for days when it is so cold you want to never leave the house. There is no better smell to catch for days and days on the label of your heaviest winter coat. I wear it once every 365 days, which is more than enough for one person.
26th September, 2016

New Haarlem by Bond No. 9

New Haarlem is probably one of Bond No. 9’s most iconic fragrances, along with Chinatown (on the female side). It’s a grotesque, “extreme” gourmand that pushes the envelope with a set of roasted, burned, and syrupy notes that walk the line between cloying/intense and appetizing/comforting.

I like extreme gourmands a lot – they are impolite and they don’t pussyfoot around with the idea of food as fragrance. They don’t make any apologies. Done right, they are both satisfying and cartoonishly awful in equal measure. In this category, I place Jeux de Peau, Cadavre Exquise, A*Men, and yep – New Haarlem.

To my nose, New Haarlem smells like roasted black coffee beans over a soapy, aromatic lavender cologne. The lavender here has the same sun-roasted, “garrigue” effect I notice in Eau Noire, that intensely woody, aromatic aroma of crushed lavender buds which is what creates the roasted coffee impression.

It is certainly a very dark and woody coffee smell - very attractive and distinctive. I can’t think of anything else that smells as close to real coffee as this does. I pick up on a creamy vanilla sweetness later on, but I can’t say that I perceive any syrupy notes at all. And I certainly don’t pick up the famous pancake accord.

To my nose, this is all coffee, intensely black and roasted at first, then smoothing out into sweet, milky coffee in the drydown, draped over a soapy, aromatic barbershop fougere. It strikes me as incredibly masculine. I like it very much, but find it too butch for me to pull off comfortably.

My husband, on the other hand, had a completely different experience. That is to say, it smelled the same on his skin as it did on mine, but his understanding of New Haarlem jives far more closely with the majority opinion of the scent on Basenotes and elsewhere. Without telling him what the fragrance notes were, I sprayed it on him and asked him to tell me what it smelled like. This is what he said:

“Nuts, specifically pecans, and that Danish pastry you like with the pecans. There is a lot of syrup here. Yes, it smells exactly like the bakery where I get the croissants and pecan Danish for you guys at the weekend. It is like wearing a pastry. This is far too sweet. I could maybe like this if I were feeling hungry and wanted to smell something a little sweet. But I wouldn’t wear this, really. It’s way too sweet.”



26th September, 2016

Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain

SDV is a nice, slightly boozy vanilla perfume that has a luxurious, golden sparkle to it. I used to own a full bottle of it, until I realized that it bored the living daylights out of me every time I wore it, so I sold it. Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s beautifully done. But it is simply not interesting, or dark, or boozy enough to hold my attention.

The opening of SDV is pretty arresting – a sugary, sparkling rum brought into being by the meeting of pink pepper, vanilla, and woods. But then there is a long period of time when the sourish, pickled tones of the cedar predominate on my skin, and I don’t enjoy that. In its final stages, a warm golden vanilla-custard glow is set free about my person and I admit that it smells wonderful. But so does Shalimar. And I am not crazy enough about straight-up vanilla to spend $300 on what turns out to be the vanilla component of a more evolved (and cheaper) fragrance.


Recognizing the limits of my need, I sold my bottle of SDV and have contented myself ever since with two types of vanilla fragrances – first, the type you buy in vats and hose yourself down in (until dripping wet) before you go to bed, or for layering purposes (these include Molinard Vanille and Cologne des Missions), and second, the type of vanilla fragrances that do something more interesting with vanilla.

In the latter category, I love Eau Duelle for its fresh black tea and frankincense angle, Vanille Tonka for its lime and carnation smokiness, Mona di Orio Vanille for a dark, woody vanilla sodden with booze, and occasionally, Bois de Vanille, which is mostly licorice allsorts on me. Oh, and Shalimar. But Shalimar is more than just vanilla.
26th September, 2016

Perry Ellis Oud : Black Vanilla Absolute by Perry Ellis

Does it smell like SDV? Sort of. But only in the way that Gisele’s sisters look like Gisele – i.e., there’s a family resemblance but one is reminded instantly of how one minute variation in jaw length or height of cheekbones makes all the difference between “attractive” and “drop-dead, mouth-watering, hubba-hubba, Girl from Ipanema beauteousness”. I apologize if that sounds callow. But does it help if I explain that, to me at least, the beauty of SDV, like that of Gisele, is overrated?

For all its strengths and weaknesses, Perry Ellis Oud Black Vanilla Absolute is a credible approximation of what is to (to me) a pretty nice but unremarkable fragrance. Thus, it follows that Oud Black Vanilla Absolute is nice but unremarkable.

The opening note is one of pure alcohol. When it settles, a nice, plain vanilla note with a soft booziness comes into view. It is difficult for me to pick up anything more complex than that, because it is very soft and low key, with little to no projection. It does, however, lack the dynamic sparkle of SDV’s opening, and the vanilla here comes across more as a sort of plain vanilla fudge texture. In fact, the vanilla in Oud Black Vanilla Absolute strikes me as being the same type as in Havana Vanille or Vanille Absoluement, whatever it’s called these days. A sort of undifferentiated blob of vanilla bread pudding.

10 minutes in, and a dusty, medicinal “oud” note appears. The oud note is a bit harsh and abrasive, and reads to my nose more like a woody ambery aromachemical than synthetic oud. Even Montale’s oud note, which although rubbery and sour, is still recognized by the nose as an oudy “type” of smell. The oud note here smells burned and chemically woody. It smells like something out of the base of Sauvage, except nowhere near as brutal. If this note is what people are picking up on as “dark” and “smoky”, then I feel sorry for you. You need to try a better class of perfume.

This perfume lacks the density and heft I want in a straight-up vanilla. To be fair, so does SDV. (Tihota is by far and away the best straight-up vanilla on the market, but you have to really love vanilla to spend $$$ on 50mls of it).

Oud Black Vanilla Absolute is ultimately a very flat, plain vanilla fudge perfume with a male designer perfume base that smells a bit generic and hollow. The woody ambery aromachemical they are calling oud is nowhere near the quality of even the standard Montale oud note, and to me reads as a bit abrasive.

Thank God for small mercies, though – this is not one of those overly potent Norlimbanol bombs that seem to plague the male fragrance market these days. It is, on the contrary, very, very quiet, lying flatly on the skin and refusing to project more than 1cm off the skin. Weak sauce.

26th September, 2016
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Aventus by Creed

I was curious about Aventus because I wondered if it was possible to evaluate the fragrance without pre-scorn or bias, and if indeed I liked it, would I be able to say so? Alternately, if I disliked it or was lukewarm, could I say that too without having to tone down my words?

I dislike Aventus on principle – the hype, the crude jokes, etc. But the fragrance itself is pretty nice.

The opening is immediately appealing – a fresh, fruity note identifiable as pineapple but not tropical in any way. I am able to identify the style as the Creed house style, which comes across as watery, green, fresh, and sparkling in a slightly metallic but pleasant way. I think that many of the Creed Royal Exclusives such as Aventus and Spice and Wood play with the trope of fresh fruit (apple, pineapple) joined to a light, clean cedary base. It is crisp, aqueous, and pleasant to wear.

The base is smoky in a lightly-charred-woods kind of way, owing to a restrained hand with birch tar and cedar or oak wood. It smells slightly synthetic, but in a way that seems deliberate and therefore forms part of the fragrance’s charm, as in CdG Black.

As it dries down even further, it becomes sharper and more generic, with a “male aftershave”-y character. I could see my brothers wearing this. It’s clean and inoffensively masculine, so I can see why this would be a popular, safe choice for the office.

Pineapple over birch tar – it doesn’t sound like much, does it? However, Aventus manages to come across as more than a sum of its parts. Like Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDT or L’Instant, the fragrance might seem nothing special when you pick it apart or smell it on a paper strip. But when you spray it and wear it over the course of a day, it forms a sort of force field of attractiveness around you that cannot be explained away by the notes. You smell great and other people think you smell great too.

It's pretty soulless and generic-smelling. But it does its job of making a man seem clean, fresh, and ready to mate with.

26th September, 2016

No. 5 L'Eau by Chanel

I’ve been wondering what the difference between Eau Premiere and the new L’Eau might be – after all, Eau Premiere was launched to do exactly the same job as L’Eau, which was to update Chanel No. 5 for a younger generation. I thought that Eau Premiere had cornered that task with aplomb – it is a sparkling floral lemonade to No. 5’s heavy satin. I absolutely love Eau Premiere. Like many other women of a similar age, it is MY Chanel No. 5. So how is L’Eau different?

In a way, it’s even younger and more sparkly than Eau Premiere. Perhaps Chanel is moving past me and down the line towards 16-year-olds? I don’t know. It’s hard for me to imagine that Eau Premiere has anything to repulse a very young woman.

I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but L’Eau does go one step further than Eau Premiere to cast off the onerous mantle of its grandmother, No. 5. The aldehydes, although already toned down greatly in Eau Premiere, have been almost completely done away with here, leaving the bright lemon and mandarin to provide enough lift and sparkle to carry the opening.

It is a beautiful, joyful opening – clean, scintillating, with the fresh twang of freshly peeled citrus fruits. It has the same washed-and-scrubbed radiance to it as Eau Premiere (thanks to hedione, an aromachemical that gives the jasmine in scents such as Eau Suavage, Chypre 21, and Eau Premiere its green, radiant, ozonic lift). And it is not weighed down by the creamy soap of the original. Even Eau Premiere has a tiny bit of soapy sparkle from its small portion of aldehydes.

The rest of L’Eau feels similar to Eau Premiere – it has the same creamy, abstract swirl of iris, rose, jasmine, and ylang – but being a cologne rather than a perfume, it whips past its floral heart rather quickly and doesn’t linger there.

The florals feel as bright and as synthetically “plastic” as in Eau Premiere and the original No. 5, but that has always been part of No. 5’s appeal to the modern girl, who wants to perhaps smell more of an expensive French perfume than of a rose in a vase. We want to attract more than bees, after all.

The base is a bit problematic for me, being mostly a white musk that lends a clean, diffuse texture. It’s not bad quality, or anything like that – this is not a cheap laundry musk. But its bland muskiness seems to swallow up the brightness of the citrus and the twang of the florals, meaning sometimes I can smell nothing at all past 45 minutes and sometimes I can smell vague traces of it in the morning after applying at night. In general, I’d venture a guess that the longevity of L’Eau might depend on individual sensitivity to white musk.

Still, very nice work by Chanel on this one. I feel certain that I will pick up a bottle of this next summer, and use it in much the same way that I use Eau Premiere, i.e., as a replacement for a summery eau de cologne (I much prefer a proper perfume over an eau de cologne any day, no matter how hot it is).

No. 5 L’Eau is a wonderful update on the Chanel No. 5 model. It retains the classical beauty of a Greek statue, yet is beautifully bright, radiant, fruity and crisp – a sort of pencil sketch of the real thing that still manages to satisfy all the pleasure-firing synapses in the brain.
26th September, 2016

L'Envol by Cartier

I am still not sure if L’Envol is just plain great or if it stands out simply because it’s swimming in a sea of male designer dreck. Mostly I think I am just relieved that a designer is finally giving men a fragrance that has obviously very high quality raw materials, and has a coherent beginning, middle, and end.

Also, it is joyfully clean of the harsh woody-ambery aromachemicals that get hurriedly stuffed into male designer perfumes these days to boost its power and projection. Give me natural-smelling and quiet over screaming power top any day. Please.

Of course, this was done by Mathilde Laurent, who has authored all the perfumes in the beautiful, uber-pricey and exclusive Les Heures collection for Cartier. So we should assume that a designer fragrance would contain some of her hallmarks, such as rendering a striking idea in a classical, easy-to-catch manner but not strictly commercial per se.

L’Envol does contain these hallmarks. It is quite smooth, blond, and easy to wear, but features a bite in its tail that surprised me and struck me as gutsy for a commercial male designer. Putting aside all the talk of honey and powdery patchouli (of which there is a lot, in a subtle, sheer way), what really struck me about L’Envol was the strong violet leaf presence it has.

It is not obvious straight away, but in the base there is a HUGE violet leaf note, which joined to the slightly musky tobacco-like feel of the patchouli, made me think of both Cuir Pleine Fleur by Heeley and “1000” by Patou. By association, therefore, there is a slight Fahrenheit vibe to L’Envol – not really similar but inexorably linked through that sharp, green “petrol”-like violet leaf note.

The base notes really stick out for me here because in comparison to the relatively light and airy topnotes and middle notes, it is quite heavy – thick, earthy, tobacco-like, with that slightly pungent violet leaf exerting its pleasantly bitter presence.

Moving backwards from the base upwards, the general tone is one of gentle, powdered translucence. The honey note is cleverly layered with a silvery iris for space and air, and thus doesn’t read as heavy, boozy or animalic. At the top, I thought I smelled a very good quality bergamot oil, because it opened on a bitterness I associate with citrus. However, bergamot is not listed, so I must assume that the bracing, bitter freshness comes from the violet leaf or some unlisted fruit note.

In the middle, the (clean) patchouli and the honey formed a pleasant sort of ‘honey tea’ note - a translucent chamomile tea with a spoonful of honey. It is very subtle, refined, slightly powdery, and not too sweet.

The power of the scent really belongs to that base, though. Does nobody else smell the violet leaf and tobacco-ish tone to this at all? It might be just me, but I sense a massive violet leaf presence here. Anyway, I think L’Envol is a fabulous male designer release and worth checking out for fans of violet leaf in perfumery, such as Cuir Pleine Fleur and “1000”.

26th September, 2016

Angel Muse by Thierry Mugler

Honestly, I think I’m in love. A softer and more wearable version of Angel, Muse manages to drown out the high-octane Maltol shriek of its predecessor with a velvety blanket of hazelnut cream.

Edible? Yes – it smells like gianduja, that silky marriage of ground hazelnuts and chocolate they make in Turin. There is also a berryish undertone in the first few minutes, as well as a hint of citrus (chocolate orange anyone?). But it’s not trashy. The edible component doesn’t make me think of fairground food like candy floss and red berry Kool Aid. With the teeth-gnashing sweetness of the sugar molecules tamped down and an addition of nutty, grassy vetiver, it smells less like food that the original Angel.

Well, ok, it does still smell of food. But there is something perfumey and inedible in there that brings it back from the edge, like a posh truffle mashed underfoot into the warm, sweet grass of a polo pitch.

I have often noticed that vetiver can smell like ground hazelnuts, most particularly in Vetiver Tonka, Sycomore, and even Onda. It adds a savory, mealy element that feels warming, adding a special thickness and body to a composition. That effect is noticeable here, and matched to the soft chocolate of the patchouli, the inevitable result is that of a creamy, nutty chocolate truffle (gianduja). Unlike the original Angel, Muse holds on to the briny element of vetiver, which makes it seem more nutty/savory than sugary.

It is still recognizably Angel. More so in its overall feel than precise arrangement of notes, but it definitely retains that sweet, room-filling bombast for which Angel is famous. But whereas I can’t bear Angel, I could see myself wearing this version on a regular basis. The sour harshness of the patchouli and the screechy Maltol of the original have been sanded away, and replaced with creamy, nutty, chocolatey softness. And that suits me.

It’s got va-va-voom sillage and presence, but on balance, it’s probably a little quieter than the original. It’s still more sillage than I’m used to, though – I’m beginning to realize that Thierry Mugler perfumes are just built on a bigger scale than most other designers and even niche. They are the pointy Madonna bras of the perfume world.

Whenever I’ve sampled this perfume, people have noticed. I can’t go anywhere without my husband, my mother, the crèche workers, the supermarket ladies, and so on, all commenting on how good I smell. I am unused to people commenting on my perfume or taking much notice of me. But I could get used to it! Sexy, warm, and edible….Angel Muse is a success in my book.

26th September, 2016

Galop d'Hermès by Hermès

The EDP tester.
Very much a refined balanced Hermes offering. As ClaireV says a pleasant syrupy opening, cut by a Citric. Nice. Leather?
Well I don't get it. It certainly doesn't smell like the Hermes Bag I sniffed in the Boutique yesterday.
I get the Rosy-ness for a while. Longevity was 3 or 4 hours for me. Full bottle? I don't think so.
On my Left arm I sprayed the latest offering of Eau d'Hermes. Different story here!! FBW for sure. A beautiful reconstruct of the Copper Top. Fresh and Vibrant!
26th September, 2016

Bel Ami Vetiver by Hermès

Just tried the latest BA Vetiver.
It's lost its soul. A Gentrified Watercolour on a chemical wood base. Lost it's growl. A technique similar in the reform of Eau d'Hermes and the original Bel Ami.
In this case as with the Bel Ami it has not been successful. Deconstruction of the Original and reconstruction missing some of the pieces. Bah!
Shaker and Broad shoulder are the way to go for us Old Guys now.
25th September, 2016 (last edited: 26th September, 2016)

Joop! Homme by Joop!

I give Joop the highest rating that I have ever given any man's cologne. A YouTube reviewer recommended Joop Pour Homme as a clubbing fragrance. One that a guy might wear while going out to play pool. This is my recommendation as well. There is nothing like Joop! I recommend it to everyone who likes to collect cologne.

Thank you,

Lonnie
25th September, 2016

Envy by Gucci

I was given a big bottle of this for Christmas several years ago, and initially I really liked it, but after a while, for some reason, it started to irritate me. So I shoved it to the back of my perfume collection and haven’t touched it for a couple of years. I hauled it out yesterday and dusted it off. It’s still pretty, but it’s very white-flowery on me – I don’t get any pineapple or rose or sandalwood or pretty much any of the other notes. And I think I’ve figured out why it irritated me – a) the white flowers take over after half an hour or so, b) it barely lasted four hours and c) what was left took on a rather sharp, almost-but-not-quite sour green edge. I’m going to try layering it with something else to see what happens, as the first half hour of this is rather lovely. If anybody has any suggestions, I’d be happy to try them.
25th September, 2016

Eau d'Hermès by Hermès

I deliberately didn’t look up the notes in this before I tried it, as I wanted to see what I could pick out. Straight up I got the leather, the sandalwood, the lavender and the cardamom – sharp and smoky and spicy. Then once it warmed up, I got a beautiful tang from the bergamot. This seems very cool initially, but after an hour or two, the vanilla and sandalwood start to show through, which warms it and gives it a lovely creamy note. I also got a slight BO smell from this – not an offensive BO, but more a clean sweat, like you’ve showered and put on deodorant and then gotten really sweaty. It’s weird, our last cat HATED perfume – he’d duck his head away and glare at me every time I went to pat him after I put some on. Our new cat seems to like them, as he spent a good ten seconds giving this one a damn good sniffing after I put it on, then gave me the lovey eyes. He is a weirdo though and he loves human smells (especially BO), so maybe it was that note that caught his attention. Me, I really love the lavender and leather in this – it’s a beautiful combination and the slightly animalic, dirty edge to this just makes it even more intriguing. I only put a dab of this on my arm initially, then after a couple of hours, I put a dab on my neck and between the girls. Aaaaaaand now I get why people are saying sweaty sex – holy heck, it’s gotten rather smutty here all of a sudden! I totally get why people are calling this a classic, so purecaramel, thanks very much for the sample. It’s a beaut!
25th September, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Love Is Heavenly by Victoria's Secret

Floral artificiality galore - a very generic mix of a floral component that can only be analysed by means of chemical formulae. A super-sweet musky undertone does not really improve things here. Just smelling it appears to raise my blood sugar levels into the range of diabetic coma....

The sillage is moderate, the projection very good and the longevity five hours.

Death by hyperglychaemia and toxicity from leaking factory chemicals. 1.5/5.
24th September, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

xo Victoria by Victoria's Secret

A profusely sweet concoction of a fruity rose core - bmcery synthetic, with the laboratory impression being the predominant component in this creation.

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

A biochemistry fest with an utterly impersonal and exchangeable sweet candy mix - 1.5/5.
24th September, 2016

Gianfranco Ferré for Man by Gianfranco Ferré

I have a 50ml glass bottle like the one pictured above. Apparently it is the "New Vintage" issued in the early 2000's, Diana de Silva house. Mid 2000's it was moved to ITF Milan I believe, with a reform.
This is the third De Silva produced scent I have tried and it has a house styling distinctively elegant.
I have little to add to all the poetry of those before me, except to say, Raiders of the Lost Scent has an excellent piece on the De Silva house.
This nectar makes it very clear, the value of using High Quality Oakmoss.
I imagine the first issue of this is Absolutely out of sight Dee-luscious!

By the way, this is the perfume of "Cleaned and Groomed"
None of that Calone driven nonsense here!
24th September, 2016
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States

Deux Amours by Jean Patou

In 2014, Jean Patou--under the auspices of its new parent, Shaneel Enterprises--relaunched Henri Alméras’ 1925 creation Amour Amour as Deux Amours. The relaunch was overseen by Patou house perfumer Thomas Fontaine. With its fresh opening citrus and neroli, a heart of jasmine, rose, tuberose and ylang ylang, anchored by a woody base with resinous styrax, this is a classic floral perfume. Very French, very classic, tres comme il faut. This smells like dozens of other fine French perfumes we have all smelled before but this is from 1925, when there were fewer classics in the starting lineup. The violet note that seemed to characterize the original appears to have vanished in the reformulation, leaving the new launch slightly updated. Yes, there is a connection to Patou’s star perfume Joy, but whereas that masterpiece exists primarily as a rose and jasmine construct, Deux Amours is a rounded floral bouquet, lightened with bergamot and orange blossom and a grounded in woods and resins. This is classy, feminine and very French. Ladylike and yet….. There is an underlying note that is almost civet-like in its feline sharpness, but then what would a fine French perfume be without a little underlying malpropreté?
23rd September, 2016

Comme une Evidence by Yves Rocher

Cottony neo-victorian floral patchouli with a soapy dreamy soul. Rosey, light and poetic. The rose-lily accord, initially earthy and angular, slides gradually towards a balmy exotic patchouli quite romantic and airy-fairy. Yves Rocher Comme une Evidence is a gracious suave floral accord. The body lotion is a balmy dream. An "easy" shy little pearl by Annick Menardo.
23rd September, 2016

Five by Bruno Fazzolari

Not that it needs to be said again, but for good measure, this is a fantastic modern take on the classic EdC/citrus aromatic genre.

The opening of this and some others from Fazzolari (Monserrat, Room 237, Seyrig) contains some sort of aromachemical that jumps off the skin in an aldehydic fashion but with more warmth, a warmth that I could swear is actually exothermic. It's fascinating to sniff. I've never experienced a true analog of this sensation from another house.

As previously mentioned, it's a very creative take on a classic structure. Five is full of crystal clear fresh green/herbal notes that are simultaneously futuristic and realistic. I agree with what Colin details about the "ozonic/watery" feel. There is something in here like that, but it's no where near the "ozonic" that we've grown to know.

Everyone else has nailed most of the specifics, so I won't go any further except to say I found the drydown disappointing. About 90 minutes in to this, on my skin it turns into something a bit mundane, similar to (gasp) the drydown of Green Irish Tweed. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but a familiar end to such a brilliant opening is a bummer. It almost landed this in neutral territory for me.

I might buy another sample, but I won't be buying a full bottle.
23rd September, 2016

Le Mâle Essence de Parfum by Jean Paul Gaultier

Nice fragrance but full of aromachemicals so one minute you can smell yourself but can't the next; those around might smell you but prefer to be the interested party.

I shall stick to the original...
23rd September, 2016

Sudestada by Fueguia

This is coming across as pretty light to me, synthetic and forgettable.
22nd September, 2016
Advertisement