Perfume Reviews

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Total Reviews: 135602

Sartoriale by Pal Zileri

This strikes me as artificial-smelling and a tad harsh. If feels like an effort to recreate the feel of a 1980s fragrance along the lines Davidoff Zino, which is noble pursuit, but it doesn't quite come together for me.

I think the note I'm picking up would be the one listed as cashmere wood.
28th May, 2017

L'Homme Idéal Cologne by Guerlain

L'Homme Ideal Cologne is a crude, cheap and plasticky 'sports' style cologne involving grapefruit, orange, pink pepper, followed by a sweet-sour mish-mash of almond and musk notes. The problem is that it is executed at the level of a copycat of an Armani masculine flanker. The almond note is at odds with the rest of the composition, and there is a vulgar sweetness after the first half hour that's unsettling. Sillage and duration are inconsequential.

Along similar lines, Boss Elements would be a more refined upgrade on this if that one were still around.

28th May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Carnal Flower by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Brightened up with a touch of bergamot, from the word "go" the star in the performance greets me: a beautiful tuberose, bright but intensive, rich but elegant, floral but not too sweet. This beauty hardly displays any waxiness. One of the most convincing tuberoses I have come across for a while.

The drydown gains added depth and a slightly creamy character with the addition of nice ylang-ylang undertone, soon a white floral mix gains prominence, with a jasmine that at times is bearing gently woodsy characteristics. It is, however, a lovely orange blossom that moves into foreground, but always combined with the starring tuberose, which remains prominent from beginning to the end, like an idée fixe in a work by Berlioz.

This remains the core blend in the base, with some perfunctory white musks adding - not very much noteworthy.

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

A delicious evening spring scent on account of supreme and brilliant tuberose and the very nice orange blossom - the rest is mere accompaniment only. 3.75/5.
28th May, 2017
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Love Speaks Primeval by Soivohle (Liz Zorn)

A dark earthy rose...the patchouli and slight oakmoss give it earthiness and depth...i get a hard candy shell rose , but it's not really sweet... Its more of a nose feel i get... The rose has depth and many faces... Nice flowery touches from the other players...a very pleasant and soothing fragrance...due to the nature of the oils used has a slight attar feel to it... nice....
28th May, 2017

POP by Stella McCartney

I like this. It smells like a modern, sweet floral without the harsh aroma chemicals I detect in some new releases. I'm surprised a fruit note isn't listed, or maybe candied violets. Tuberose and sandalwood are not the main notes I think I'm smelling. It may lack the character of natural ingredients to keep it interesting long-term, but for a modern perfume, it smells well done to me. It opens with a nice accord that never breaks down, is fairly linear, and has great longevity.
27th May, 2017

Giulietta by Tocca

Very light. Almost invisible. This scent fades after ten minutes, on me. I get a blast of apple, a touch of lilac, some musk, and a smattering of ylang ylang. I would give it a neutral if it performed better.
27th May, 2017

Bugatti (original) by Etorre Bugatti

This one truly surprised me. I love it and OF COURSE it is discontinued. A somewhat oriental-style scent that works for both men and women, IMO. My greedy nose detected lemon and sandalwood at first. After about thirty minutes I sort of figured out what else intrigued me. Well, jasmine, of course. The obligatory aldehydes. Sneaking in for an appearance I got lime, patchouli, sage, and a touch of rose.

This a fine representation of how fragrances should be made.

I am going to savor the sample I have until my budget allows for a bona fide bottle.
27th May, 2017

Obsession Night by Calvin Klein

This is nothing like original Obsession. This is a completely different animal. When I see perfumes labeled as "night", I assume they will be dark. This is not. This oriental works well for daytime wearing.

The ingredients I detect are cashmere wood, vanilla, white flowers, bergamot, Tonka bean, gardenia, and Mandarin orange. A peak of amber on the skin, later on. Lasts fairly well. Has some sillage to it -- not tons.

The more I wear it, the more I enjoy it. It didn't sell well, therefore it has been discontinued.
27th May, 2017

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier

A very confident fragrance. Not too feminine. A floriental for summer evenings. It's nutty, creamy, slightly heavy, and alluring. One of my favorites.
27th May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Emerald Dream by Estée Lauder

After a brief citrus-fruity-harsh chemical attack (contravening various international conventions) in the opening blast, I was fearing the worst. No need to worry though; it soon settled down to a pleasant and fresh grass-green impression, with touches of very fresh basil underneath the heath. Touches of a peach aroma were intermittently detectable in the background. Parts of the top notes reminded me of Geoffrey Beene's Bowling Green, just lacking the vibrancy of Beene's verdant creation.

In the drydown floral pieces were added to the olfactory mosaic: initially a fairly woodsy violet impression, then mimosa, whiffs of geranium, and a pleasant cyclamen to maintain a good balance.

The base turns increasingly woodsier, with the cypress gradually overwhelmed by the Kamani and whiffs of sandal; it is as if a hint of white blossoms is admixed. Delightful, and towards the end the fruitiness from the top notes as well as the green parts of the initial phase return to combine with the rest to a green-woodsy and slowly fading apotheosis. Memories of the Emerald Isle?

The sillage is moderate, the projection excellent, and the longevity a superb twelve hours on my skin.

Apart from the first seconds, this is a a fresh daytime spring creation with a green-woodsy centre, executed very well and performing excellently. 3.5/5.
27th May, 2017

Cuir de Russie by Chanel

I do really enjoy this parfum. I haven't tried the EDT version or the vintage. I love this because it reminds my of my saddle after a thorough conditioning. I love the smell of my horse's sweat mixed with saddle soap. The parfum is a cleaned up version of that smell.
I would wear this out dancing and any other time I want smelll intoxicating while sweating!
27th May, 2017

Devilscent #2: The Main Act by Olympic Orchids

A smokey, anamalic and sexy, sweet cinnamon fragrance that is great for wearing on cold Autumn and Winter nights. This is also the perfect fragrance to wear for those intimate moments.

This one has a strong scent and is not for everyone, so you might want to get the sample before purchasing the 60 ml bottle (the largest size for this fragrance).

Sillage: The fumes of Dev 2- The Main Act, will fill the room with its scent, so go easy on the number of sprays. One spray is great and two sprays is great but almost pushing it, in my opinion.

Longevity: Very, very long lasting (12-24 hours). You will easily smell this on your skin the next day.

26th May, 2017 (last edited: 28th May, 2017)

Basenotes Kiss My Ass by O'Driù

I purchased a sample of this and I am really enjoying it.

Aside from the title's hilarious play on words, this fragrance has no base notes. At all. Only Heart and Top notes are in this fragrance.

When wearing it, I detect green herbs as well as spices, with a slight floral note.

Fresh, warm and spicy is the best way that I can describe this.

Unless you live in a really hot area, this could be worn year round.

I might be purchasing a bottle of this one.

26th May, 2017
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Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

This reminds me of the citrussy vetiver sweetish cologne smell that wafts around warm places, and it's said to be based on a hotel soap from Morocco, which I can well believe. One of the first things that hits me when I land in warm places like Spain or Morocco is the smell of cologne rather than perfume everywhere you go. Here in Ireland I smell more traditionally feminine perfumes on the streets, but in Spain it's cologne, often sold in huge bottles in Spanish supermarkets and shops, and there's nothing more refreshing that splashing some from a bottle in the fridge when you crawl in after working on a hot day.

MC opens sweetly citrus with quite a bit of orange (neroli and petitgrain) rather than lemon, more Moroccan than French, and less 'flinty' than some of the sharper colognes I love. It is almost a generic clean smell but has a slightly quirky personality of its own which lifts it out, gives it depth, and makes it very attractive, particularly once some nice juicy vetiver kicks in. I've read reviews talking about a steam or barbershop quality, but for me I get something of that slightly chemical whiff of clean that you find in laundry/dry cleaner shops, where something from the dry cleaning fluid or indeed from steam generated by the process adds an edge to the sweet citrus, herby, musky laundry smells.

I like it very much but can find the neroli a little too sweet at times, but it always feels summery and I enjoy it on hot days or indeed in winter to remind me of warm places.
26th May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Amber Mystique by Estée Lauder

From the very start I get the amber - rich, with a fresh touch but intense. There is an underlying berry-fruitiness supplying it with glimpses of brightness. An amber that is well executed.

The drydown adds a dark rose impression in the background, with a jasmine giving it a subtly green touch, but the amber remains proudly in the forefront. The floral notes are more frameworks than centrepieces.

The end of the heart notes sees the emergence of a darkish and slightly crisp patchouli. This blends in seamlessly with the other main player in the base, a typical oud impression. Whilst very stereotypical and at times a tad too generic, this oud is not bad on the whole and never too intrusive or cloying. Nonetheless, the amber stands firm in the centre of attention until the last gasp.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and an impressive ten hours of longevity on my skin.

Maybe the amber is too dominant overall, but this wintery creation is overall a nice example of an amber-centric scent with an acceptable oud and with an amber that is an unusually skillful team player. 3.5/5.

26th May, 2017

Nuit de Tubéreuse by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This is one I would never have considered in the past. It's very peppery on opening and has a fruity tang that's usually a no-no for me. But, maybe it's the time of day, I'm trying this mid afternoon, and I'm loving it today! It's much spicier than I thought and not too 'sultry tropical'. Actually I think this is only the second or third time I've ever sprayed this -- it was part of a set of four or five travel sized vials I got a couple of years ago from the Artisan website. I think I sometimes get a sort of fatty rancid butter hint from heavier perfumes on initial spray and this definitely had that on last spraying (maybe I imagine it and it's time of day dependent - evening scents in the evening, morning scents in the morning...). It mixes up the floral and the spicy very nicely. I'm even imagining something sweet and sharp like ginger - probably the pepper and cardamom. Anyway it works beautifully today
25th May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Pleasures Delight by Estée Lauder

The opening blast is an olfactory fruit platter: very berry-like, strawberry, some raspberry, and the slightly acidic undertone - this seems to be all I get from the pomegranates. Not bad, but not exciting.

The next phase is all-out floral, with preponderance of muguet and lily; soft and very restrainedly sweet. Pleasant.

The later stages get richer, with vey agreeable caramel merging with ith a vanilla impression - creme caramel with vanilla ice cream and distinctly in the middle of gourmand territory. Rich, smooth creamy and sweet - but again just avoiding being overly cloying or sticky.

The sillage is moderate, the projection very good, and the longevity an excellent eleven hours on my skin.

An olfactory opera in three sequential acts - fruity, floral and gourmand - this wintery scent is not badly done, but at the same time it feels a bit bog-standard too at times. The reason for this somewhat pedestrian impression lies in the rather generic nature of some of the floral notes, as well the at times overly synthetic character its ingredients. Just between mediocre and good on the whole, the very good performance gets it over the line to a positive score, if only just. 3/5.
25th May, 2017

Agent Provocateur by Agent Provocateur

This is a complex fragrance. The initial blast is slightly alarming, with what feels like an off note, especially compared to what someone might expect from the pink bottle, but as it settles, it's gripping and addictive. The flowers are competing with gamy notes, mostly saffron I gather, and the flowers in this are likely on the gamy side themselves.

It settles into the main accord within a few minutes, and it's strong and intriguing enough to create a mild physiological euphoria.
25th May, 2017

Aube Rubis by Atelier Des Ors

A stout hard to wear fragrance. Atelier Des Ors Aube Rubis starts like a sort of less leathery "praliney" Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman. This is a scent in which (especially in its opening) the connection of suedish iris, smooth patchouli and acid/salty praline give out the illusion of intensive (kind of juicy-fizzy-bitter-woody) leather while patchouli smells initially smooth, luxurious (kind of ostensibly liquorous and glorious on hesperides) and leathery. The not listed leather (a sort of "ideally fruity-fizzy" Classic Aramis-like leather) is like a synthetic ghost lingering all around throughout while I perceive all ovet that disturbing pencil-shavings effect which is not so distant from the ones we got in Montana Graphite, Balmain Carbone or Gucci Pour Homme I (Aube Rubis could indeed sound as a sort of fruity ideal Gucci Pour Homme I's far relative). Patchouli along the way goes fading, I detect hints of saffron while a disturbing salty-pencil shavings woodiness starts relentlessly emerging. Surely vetiver and praline provide intensive fizzy saltiness while I get as well a sort of vegetal fruity/leafy (almost juicy) intensity provided by a sheer connection of violet, grapefruit and praline. Dry down is quite powerful on pencil-woodiness, simil-leather, kind of ostensibly berrish fruitiness (praline) and edgy violet. Honestly dry down smells somewhat boring, sometimes disturbing and kind of monolithic (in a woody-synthetically fruity way). An obsessive fragrance.

P.S: really, really persistent juice on skin. Actually after many hours of journey the powerful woodiness slightly recedes and the "accomplished" aroma conjures me significantly the old "by a red leather 'jacket' bottle wrapped" Habit Rouge Edp (oudhish/leatherish) formula (just being this Atelier Des Or's fragrance more properly woody - in a "pencil" way- and less deliberately and sweetly vanillic/benzoinic/musky). Montale Audh Musk is another fragrance jumping on mind for several of its hallmarks.
24th May, 2017 (last edited: 25th May, 2017)
kupgup Show all reviews
United States

Style de Paris by Catherine Malandrino

This is a lovely, easily likeable fragrance that meshes very nicely with my tastes. It's one of the very-early sampling experiences that convinced me to start expanding my scent horizons a bit.

Now, that's not to say that it's a challenging or novel or highly sophisticated fragrance. I kind of doubt that, given how quickly and easily I--in my n00bishness and extreme fragrance-skepticism--enjoyed it on my first sampling.

It was part of a pretty darn big step, though. When I first tried it, I'd barely progressed from a lifelong stance of "Most perfume is gross, it's not worth the trouble looking for one I won't hate, ewww I don't want to smell like fake flowers." At that point I was about at "Well, mayyyyybe this one won't suck, since about half the smells they listed are things that aren't flowers."

Anyway. This fragrance is sweet, fruity, and floral. All things I tend to be prejudiced about--things I might easily consider boring or cloying or childish. Yet, that's balanced out by the warm spicy woody patchouli. That hits my nose quickly and decisively enough to avoid setting off that "eww, gross, flowery perfume" reflex. That was a pretty neat trick, definitely not easy to do at the time I first smelled this.

I wear it to work pretty often, since I feel it's grown-up and competent, yet amiable and not uptight. Those are generally good things to be at work, IMHO. They're characteristics I'm okay with for most situations, really, so I think it's a pretty flexible scent as far as mood and occasion.

. . . Also, it gives me an impression of peach cobbler. That amused me greatly, and was probably the biggest reason I sampled it a second time. This happens despite it not really being peachy, or having vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg. If I think about it, the components I'm peg as "peach cobbler" are just pears, patchouli, and a hint of citrus. Funny how things come together sometimes!
24th May, 2017

Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style - Love by Gwen Stefani

Finally! A perfume with just enough pear that it doesn't make me want to hurl. Combined with violet, nectarine, mango, and lotus, this is a nice little fragrance. More suited for a girl in her twenties. A light fragrance. Suitable for a work environment.
24th May, 2017

Granville by Christian Dior

This initially seem s like like a supercharged cologne - lemony, green, dry, herby, and has some woody depth. But it's more than that. I love the feeling of pine woods it evokes. I think it may be close to my imprinted dream of French citrussy freshness and herbiness (with zero 'marine' stuff). I find it puts me in mind of soda water fizzing on rock at the beach - something almost limestony if such a thing could be smelled.

I wore it today on a hot sunny day locked up at work with stress and nonsense and it made the day brighter. It has very good staying power for something so citrussy, plenty of herbs (thyme) and spice (pepper) and it never goes into that oversweet verbena territory that many initially promising fresh scents often do.

I really like this - it's just complex enough and magically cooling. It is utterly, utterly French and is supposed to evoke the wind and pine of the Manche coast around Granville. As a child I used to stay very near Granville in the summers, but this doesn't really remind me of that coast in wind and seaside terms - maybe my standards for windswept coastlines are too high (as I was brought up near the dramatic and truly windswept Atlantic coast of the west of Ireland). However the pine and Frenchness of it are spot on.
24th May, 2017

H2O by Tous

I had high hopes for H2o. The Amalfi lemon, jasmine, Virginia cedar, and sandalwood are all I get. These notes vacillate in the first hour or so. It is like these ingredients were thrown together and were never told to get to know each other. A bad fragrance, blind date? More thought was put into the design of the bottle, than the actual contents, I'm afraid.

Good scent for spraying linens, at least.
24th May, 2017

Agua de Colonia Concentrada by Alvarez Gomez

Endless days of sunshine. Cloudless skies. Hot, dry winds peppered with tiny bits of sand. Stucco and terra cotta tiled roofs.

A perfect balance of lemon, geranium, bergamot, and lavender. Geranium can seem obnoxious to my nose but here, it is perfection.

A scent to take with you on vacation. You don't have to think about it -- just spray!
24th May, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Cinnabar by Estée Lauder

Review of the original Eau de Parfum:

A peachy-peary fruity start is given a spiciness as if boiled in a spice soup for several hours. A cautious but definite addition of aldehydic undertones add some sparks such as to prevent is from being all too dark.

In the head notes sweetness arisies, a mix of a rich and scrumptious cinnamon that is never too thick or cloying. This is nicely combined with a rich ylang-ylang, and this dyadic partners work together exceedingly well. Jasmine - with a touch of verdant vibrations - is present too.

A pleasant tanginess leads into the base, and it turns out to be derived from clove with a well-placed component of some ambery orris. This turns into a gently crisp spiciness owing to an underlying layer of darkish patchouli. The ylang-ylang sweetness, however, stands its ground and is now fortified by a dense but not too heavy tonka impression.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a superb twelve hours of longevity on my skin.

A rich oriental and wintery creation, less heavy than Opium and never too overwhelming. This is well-blended out of ingredients of a very respectable quality. The aldehydic notes as well and the spicy-tangy aromas are incorporated in a very balanced fashion. At times it lacks vibrancy and can be a bit dull though. Overall 3.5/5.
24th May, 2017

Eau d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal

I am really on the fence with this one. One day I like it, the next, I don't hate it.

Once upon a time I was addicted to these little tins of candies. Sometimes I bought Cavendish & Harvey's. Other days it was La Vie Les Citrons. Piercing, screaming, little drops of sour lemon. This frag is the liquid version, incarnate.

24th May, 2017

Perfume Calligraphy Saffron by Aramis

Spiced floral-infused cookies without excessive sweetness. A recipe a wood nymph would hold secret. Indian summer in a bottle. An uncommon amalgamation of ingredients. I tend to seek out odd combinations, for my collection of scents. I chose wisely, here.

Oriental. Spicy. Comforting.

24th May, 2017

Eau de Cologne Impériale by Guerlain

I have never liked summers. Who wants to suffer soul-crushing heat and deathly brightness? In my defence - I have endured such torments in Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay and Phoenix. Let me be blunt and honest: I detest summers. Give me the lovely Chicago winter - any day.

There is a new wave of perfume wearers who demand that summers be defined by fresh perfumes that last through the day. There is a new wave of fresh perfumes on the market to quench the thirst. Most are neither fresh nor long lasting. Some are as bad as the Phoenix (insert city of choice) summers. Some go on well, before getting increasingly grating by the hour. A rare few are interesting - and, beautiful.

Then, what about the eau de colognes?

EdC Imperiale is one such eau de cologne. It is a simple love affair of limes, lemons, verbena, oranges and faint sweet woods - in that order. There is nothing to understand here, and it is meant to be loved. It is delightful and exquisitely refreshing, but as approachable as a traditional lemonade in the summer heat. Rather than a daily indulgence, one embraces it as an hourly ritual. The faint dry down lasts the best part of two hours, before one starts longing for it again.

Imperiale will clearly not move anyone pining for duration. But, does that matter? It smells natural, fresh, and is one of those little joys in the world of perfumes. Sometimes, short is sweet. Sometimes one is moved more by a wonderful short story than a gargantuan novel.

Imperiale, together with Cologne Sologne, is one of the best eau de colognes on the market.



1. Yes, I understand that Eau de Guerlain is just as good and lasts longer, but Imperiale is also very commonly found at half the price of Eau de Guerlain if one shops around a bit.

2. Recommendation - keep it the fridge in summers and enjoy!)
24th May, 2017

Jubilation 25 by Amouage

This one reminds me of Fidji by Guy Laroche. It's woody with a touch of citrus, on me. I detect tarragon, lemon, ylang, labdanum, frankincense, and vetiver. There is something else, different, I am not familiar with. Perhaps it is the davana note? My nose could not pick out any amber or musk. Everything blends nicely enough for my taste.
24th May, 2017

White Sandalwood by Nest

A basic winter scent, for me. Sandalwood with overtones of almond. Musk appears hours later. It smells a bit artificial but for some reason, I really enjoy this. It's like a fireplace in an old cabin. You know, the one nobody ever remembers to clean out every once in awhile?
24th May, 2017