Perfume Reviews

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Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 143885

This Is Not A Blue Bottle by Histoires de Parfums

I could almost give this a neutral - maybe I'm feeling so let down because I like this house, but this is an annoying, synthetic and terribly modern smelling perfume, especially given the name of the house. Modern history, I guess.

22nd May, 2018

Sauvage Very Cool Spray by Christian Dior

Same dry down scent as Sauvage but the top notes have a tart citrus that some describe as grapefruit. Dior says they developed a new variety of bergamot that is unique and distinctive - smells like a grapefruit version of bergamot at the opening. The Very Cool Spray bottle is powered by compressed oxygen in a newly developed spray mechanism - works great. This scent does smell fresher and more spring and summer appropriate and I think it is much easier version for me to pull off. Sauvage Very Cool loses that chemically heavy dihydromyrcenol and basil heaviness and goes more with a grapefruit basil and ambroxan structure that smells a little thinner but more expansive. Much better for me. I like to spray this on back of neck and shoulders so the aroma doesn't billow up into my face but surrounds and follows with a cloud of silage. Thumbs way up!
22nd May, 2018

Lust by Gorilla Perfume

This is the Jasmine Indole that is laid down behind the Jasmine Absolute.
I have the solid perfume. It provides a beautiful albeit saccharin laden base below my Vintage Eau Fraiche and has it's (Eau Fraiche) rot lasting more than half an hour. Those with fear of the Fecal and Petroleum best stay away!
21st May, 2018 (last edited: 22nd May, 2018)
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Calvin by Calvin Klein

There is so much hype with this scent across the Internet, that it's actually hard to parse objective description from sentiment, with people clutching survivng bottles and screaming "the ultimate masculine scent" or "the only CK worth owning" while cradling it in their sleep. Well, for the record, this is a GOOD fragrance from the early 1980's, and indeed debuted alongside the "Class of 1981" which included greats like Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent, Antaeus by Chanel, Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui, and Bijan for Men, but like Stetson by Coty, tends to sit outside of that circle because Calvin Klein was still in it's perfumery infancy after the release of Calvin Klein (1979) for women, and just didn't get the same attention. The hype machine really got started after this was brought back for a limited time in 1999 to celebrate the turn of the millenium, and drilled into people's head that this was some unsung hero of the 80's powerhouse period. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's not some lost unappreciated gem worthy of the niche price tags it fetches now in the aftermarket, nor is it the first and final real achievement of the house, because like it or not, Eternity for Men (1989) was that scent (and arguably not the final achievement), as it did more for the future of perfume than this little black obelisk. However, this is a really quality, if somewhat derivative oakmoss bomb full of bright bergamot, smoky vetiver, and smooth musk. If the house of Calvin Klein had the kind of talent Chanel has, this might have even survived reformulation well, like Antaeus, if it had been kept available, but since it's intial run was brief and it's second run nothing but a tease, it makes sense that folks covet it more than they probably should. I mean, just the fact that the same house who makes endless freshies even put out an oakmoss powerhouse is astonishing in and of itself.

Calvin opens up with an enormous blast of bergamot and neroli, with lemon, mandarin, and the odd choices of chamomile and armoise softening the blow a little more than one might expect. The floral heart shows it's face rather early, but these are manly florals of the barbershop kind, so expect a stiff geranium note accompanied by meaty tarragon and lemon verbena. This phase reminds me most of the later Aramis Tuscany Per Uomo (1984), just with the added heft of a fat-bottomed oakmoss base. Even in this earliest phase, CK was using "Kleinisms", with oddly specific notes like "cinnamon leaf" and "orange flower" that feel incredulous. It's a far cry from "acid rain accord" or "sunshine on an angel's back" BS of more recent note pyramids, but even in 1981 the CK marketing team was allowed to embelish the note pyramids, just not to the same extent. I'm not saying the leaf of the plant cinammon is cultivated from isn't in there, but it's doubtful. The base is pure classic early 80's, and the biggest part aside from the top that makes it too similar for it's own good to more profound masculines from the period. Sandalwood, vetiver, oakmoss, patchouli and musk make up the final phase here, instantly connecting Calvin to Eucris by Geo F Trumper (1912), Jacomo de Jacomo (1980), the later Avon Féraud Pour Homme (1985), and to the more-obscure Lamborghini GT (also 1985). Calvin finishes much like these, with a heavier musk bedrock that supports a patchouli and vetiver garden fertilized by oakmoss. It's formal and rich, not crisp after the citrus fades like some of the others, and best for spring or fall median temperatures.

Calvin's most unique feature is that it's virtually an early 80's powerhouse chimera, that tries to take elements from classic barbershop scents, bright Italian citrus, stiff English oakmoss, and patchouli/musk riffage from the previous decade. Calvin Klein clearly wanted something for everyone with this, but distinction is sacrificed for likeability. I also understand the fanaticism, because CK is one of the most popular and ubiquitous designers on the planet, so there's a much larger pool of fans, some not so well-versed in their options, that see this as the holy grail of 80's masculines because they just don't KNOW about the alternatives. Collectors and vintage snobs will obviously over-hype this too, just because it IS the oldest CK masculine and only one of two main-line non-seasonal/non-flanker scents that are discontinued and rare, so the "dragon fever" overrides their logic circuits and convinces them of it's superiority, with the old "I paid X for it so I have to like it" justification filling in the blanks. If money is no object and your patience is unlimited, a full-bottle purchase of this is definitely recommended as it is a very nice scent worth owning. However, considering it sits squarely inbetween a range of arguably more-signifant and distinct masculines in style, and is more derivative than zealots will admit, it's one unicorn better left in the wild, unless on the off-chance Calvin Klein lets it breed once again.
21st May, 2018

Luna Rossa by Prada

Very light, clean and somewhat powdery, this lavender scent is modern but the performance is very weak.

I think I would like it better if it had better performance because it smells nice while you can smell it but seems to be gone after 2-3 hours. That makes it hard to justify wearing unless you'll be reapplying all day or just need to smell nice and clean for a couple hours. Sorry, but this seems to get over-powered by scented deodorant.

That said, it does seem to come back in tiny wafts throughout the day. Still weak projection but it lingers for 6-7 hours.
21st May, 2018

Amazingreen by Comme des Garçons

This is a fun fragrance.
I agree with one of the previous reviewers. I am also familiar with the smell of spent gun cartridges and its fresh green mixed with a hint of that.
Its fun and fresh and more masculine than unisex and nice for a hot day but lacks true depth and class to be taken really seriously but there is nothing wrong with bit of fun!
21st May, 2018

Musc Tonkin by Parfum d'Empire

Note: Review is of the EdP, not the extrait version.

Musc Tonkin is an astonishingly tame musk perfume, insubstantial and forgettable. There is noticeable leather and a hint of florals, so much so that this could also pass off as a meek leather fragrance. On card as well as on skin there is no hint of anything animalic at all, and on skin it projects barely an inch, even after a generous application (approximately 1 ml). It's a tad musty, and brings to mind musky leathers of yesteryears (particularly Chanel's Cuir de Russie) but at one tenth volume and concentration.

Musc Tonkin pales in comparison to a well rounded musk fragrance like Muscs Koublaï Khan (which itself is not particularly animalic either ...), while there are several excellent musky leathers so that one need not bother with Musc Tonkin, which is possibly the weakest output from Parfum d'Empire that one has encountered.

1.5/5
21st May, 2018

154 by Jo Malone

Stardate 20180521:

154 is named after Jo Malone's London store. It is supposed to capture the "headspace" of the shop. Diptyque did something similar with their 34.
I like this one as it captures the best Malone has to offer. The Lime Basil Mandarin is one of the dominant smell in this composition followed by Nutmeg Ginger.
Base is woodsy and oriental.

The only offering in EDP concentration.
Recommended.
21st May, 2018

Acqua di Parma Colonia Pura by Acqua di Parma

My first experience with the house and it gets a slight thumbs up. This is an uplifting spring / summer scent good for the office or casual. Great lemon opening that is very nice and not too sweet nor overbearing to my nose. It does turn to a flowery scent in the mid which gives way to a musky woody dry down. I like it but don't love it. As per usual try before you buy... otherwise Enjoy!
21st May, 2018

Bois Noir by Chanel

Stardate 20180521:

Egoiste's predecessor. Spices and woods. Reminds me more of concentree version of Egoiste.

Egoiste is one line where the differences in various vintages and flankers do not change the core DNA.Do stay away from Platinum flanker.
If you need to buy one get Egoiste EDT (vintage preferred but current will do)


21st May, 2018

Limestone by Thorn & Bloom

Attractive perfume which does somehow manage to evoke the scent of damp limestone in an original way, especially in the topnotes. Normally you might need a touch of geosmin or a specialised type of ambergris to achieve that effect, but I can't smell those materials here. Very good.
21st May, 2018

Love and Luck for Men by Ed Hardy [Christian Audigier]

The late Christian Audigier did many things for the fashion world, including bringing us Von Dutch, but his latest and biggest venture, which was to build a fashion label out of the works of famed tattoo artist Don "Ed" Hardy, proved to be a fantastic flop. A dozen posh boutiques around the globe, marketing haute couture directly to celebrities, but trying to feign that down to earth "everyman" attitude associated with tattoo parlors in the first place, made for a disastrous "ain't foolin' nobody" outcome. Ed Hardy Man (2008) was the first male fragrance from Christian Audigier's fragrance division (now in the hands of EA Fragrances since his passing), but it was a rather safe and inoffensive scent that spoken nothing of the edgy vibe it's name suggested. Love and Luck for Men (2009), fares a bit better in this department, and is also created by Olivier Gillotin, a perfumer who has a few renowned successes like Elizabeth Arden's Red Door (1989), and Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds (1991), Jacques Fath Pour l'Homme (1998), and Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille (2007) but also a few infamous scents like Dior's Higher (2001), Higher Black (2002), and DKNY Be Delicious Men (2004). All this proves to me is that Gillotin isn't afraid to play around with ozonics, as all of his "bombs" (despite sales) are of that category, and honestly are well-made too, despite being of a genre unfavorable to enthusiasts. Love and Luck for Men does strike in a way as being of that ozonic demeanor as well, but rounder and more toned-down than anything listed above from that category; this is an ozonic made mature, respectable, piquant without being shrill, and zesty without losing a softer side. It's probably a good thing this was done, as the ozonic style began to die out in 2008 and by the next decade would become passe. The long slip-over-bottle cap design is also cool, and makes this a treat to open.

The opening of Love and Luck is a whole bunch o' citrus, including bergamot, orange, mandarin, and a peck of grapefruit to tie it in with the ozonic theme. Cardamom also makes a show, and the whole thing has maybe half of the expected nose tinge that a typical ozonic possesses. The heart follows up the top notes rather quickly on skin, while on shirt the top stays literally on top longer, but once they're there, the heart of sage, cypress, and violet show off a brief bit of femininity. Supposedly an absinthe note is here too, but as an absinthe drinker, I beg to differ, and if anything, it's a synthetic compound meant to replicate the smell of anise and wormwood in spirits, which it doesn't. I can't tell you what it is, but that stuff is not absinthe. I also hear comparisons to Creed Millésime Imperial (1995) from a large portion of folks, and the occasional rooty-tooty-fresh-and-snooty come down from Mount Snifflympus to say "balderdash!" but to be honest, I don't care. Obviously every fragrance with a heavy lemon verbena note doesn't smell like a clone of Creed Green Irish Tweed (1985), so let me nip that right there for you guys. The base here is where the scent gets most interesting, as a note of oud mixes with vetiver, cedar, and laundry-fresh white musk. It's ultimately the interplay between the musk and cedar that wins the day in the base, but you can feel that very dry and bleached agarwood in the background, in almost a similar way to Mancera Wild Rose Aoud (2011), but on a far less-potent level. Obviously Ed Hardy fragrance is not niche, and with current EA Fragrances ownership, barely still designer, but I believe it's this oud/cedar interplay with the musk that gives Love and Luck for Men it's true power, in place of the nuclear citrus top you'd expect from an ozonic.

Ed Hardy as a fragrance brand has it's first real winner here with Love and Luck for Men. The juice comes in a stylish albeit campy bottle that will stand out in any collection (as with all Ed Hardy scents), but has the double-benefit of actually being well-crafted and original. The later Hearts and Daggers (2009) would be much more in the aquatic direction, and likely a bigger mainstream hit, but nowhere near as interesting, at least to me. The "mature ozonic" combination of a 4-way citrus top, delicate florals, and a rather dry, classy base of conventional cedar and exotic oud make Love and Luck for Men a confident all-day warm-weather scent. It's a bit richer than most ozonics and even if it isn't an attempt to replicate Millésime Imperial like everyone seems to think, it does bring a bit of class to the table all it's own, as long as you ignore the packaging. Love and Luck for Men is a tad sensual thanks to the violet and cypress also playing with that musk and wood base at times, but overall this is a sparkly clean citrus that's a cut above the ozonic and aquatic din of the period. it's another example of "if you hate the style you'll also hate this" since I know male ozonics that aren't made by Issey Miyake don't get a lot of love here, but for the price this retails for some places, it's a steal for the guy wanting something fresher, more modern, but not smelling like a bottle of 409 or Fantastik like some things that attempt what this does. Best part of all? This stuff goes the distance for eight hours or more, so unless you're pulling a double, you won't need to reapply, which is something I have never been able to say about anything that is remotely ozonic in the designer category. A nice, sophisticated freshie that doesn't 100% play it safe.
21st May, 2018

Encens et Lavande by Serge Lutens

Simple but fantastic. Encens et Lavande is pretty much a two note scent: high quality lavender paired to a gorgeous, airy incense note. The lavender is bright, radiant and leads to a dry down of fuzzy incense, ethereal but still substantial. This is the most satisfying incense accord in the Lutens lineup. It is slimmer than Gris Clair, but just as tenacious. Sillage is quite good for its style, as I do keep getting lovely gentle wafts throughout.

Encens et Lavande (together with Gris Clair and Oxford & Cambridge) is one of the best lavender scents I've come across. Fans of Oxford & Cambridge would perhaps appreciate this for the starkness of the composition. The lavender note, though, is richer and similar to the one in Gris Clair. Encens et Lavande might also appeal to lavender fans who find Gris Clair to be too ashy.

Very different from most other things in the Serge Lutens lineup. It is calm, meditative and introspective. This is not complex, unlike Gris Clair, Eau Noire or Dzongkha, and is unlikely to satisfy anyone after a complex lavender or incense scent.

Encens et Lavande is a case study in simple beauty and elegance. The lavender is very good, but once it hits the hour mark and the incense joins in, the scent is sublime.


4/5

Note: Review is based on an older "Shiseido" bell jar version.
21st May, 2018
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Ankh by Scents of Time

I've been lucky enough to have obtained most of the vintage and discontinued fragrances that I love to wear , but this scent is impossible to find at any price...I was also lucky enough to obtain a 10 ml decant several years back from a fellow Basenoter...on the very first whiff I took I was immediatly captivated and thought...hmmmmm...must get a bottle of this...not being able to find a bottle of this is why 10 ml lasted me so long...i used it very sparringly , taking my time to enjoy it...alas , as I write this , I am enjoying the last couple of sprays...firstly , this overall has the profile , charactaristics and quality of an attar...the difference is it is EDT strength , as far as i know, so it doesn't have the thickness/richness/opulence of an attar...what it does have is that multi-dimensional/layering effect and the way notes pop in and out among other aspects...love incense , resins , spices and woods and this fragrance does a great job of checking all those boxes...OK... Enough of that ...let's move on to the scent itself...opens fresh and uplifting...a kind of citrus/resin/incense accord...sweetens and deepens...get one of those attar effects i mentioned , as different notes and effects start drifting in and out...a liitle honey...a touch of cinnamon...a smidgen of pepper...a sprinkling of some flowery smells...smells exotic and somewhat mysterious...oriental for sure...hard core oriental...after going through a kaleidiscopic-cornucopia of a seamless flow of accords this settles to a final resting place of a sweetish/resiny sandalwoodish incense...I will miss you...
21st May, 2018

Dzongkha by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Woody, paper-like, floral sweetness in the beginning. The florals come off a bit like bug spray mixed with some of the other notes. Stays woody into the drydown and becomes greener. Finally you’re left with leather and incense which gives it a mature feel. The whole thing is actually pretty mature and formal from beginning to end. Not heavy at all so feels like a nice warm weather scent.

Projection is below average and it doesn’t last but maybe 4 hours on me.
21st May, 2018

Maritime Deep Blue by Tommy Bahama

Starts of clean and synthetically sweet but mostly just generic and weak.

There is a little sea saltiness in the drydown but nothing that rivals other aquatics.

Projection is below average and longevity is okay.
20th May, 2018 (last edited: 21st May, 2018)

Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermès

Mine, is a vintage bottle of eau de cologne. It is a marvelous aromatic. Crisp, bright, and luscious citruses. Fun notes of mint and basil. Lavender that is just enough that it doesn't kill me. Lovely, earthy oakmoss on the bottom. This is one of those that, the more I wear it, the more I enjoy it.
20th May, 2018

Maritime by Tommy Bahama

Maritime comes off as a powdery, blue version of an Abercrombie fragrance. It must remind me of one of there scents but with a twist on it.

Not really aquatic, just fresh and clean with some powdery sweetness.

I get good projection and longevity.
20th May, 2018

Fathom V by Beaufort London

On this nondescript Sunday I browsed my stash of samples to find this, sent my way by a kind BN friend. I knew about Beaufort being a London based brand, but this was my first experience. Fathom V (strange name) starts off with dewy-grassy greens and florals on my skin, fresh and uplifting. Lily is the star flower, together with the greens, but then, after about a couple of hours, the greens calm down a little to reveal some musky-aquatic notes, lightly salted. This shapes the development and leads to the concluding dry down accord of Fathom V, as it becomes soft, fuzzy but perceptible. It exhibits an understated but persistent sillage - almost forming a hazy fragrant cloud about my skin which is quietly enjoyable.

I was initially prepared to write off Fathom V (again, strange name) as a decent but unremarkable green floral scent, but the dry down has moved me. It is more of a floral-green-aquatic rather than floral-aquatic, and the aquatic notes are very well done, not like calone at all but more salty, fresh and ethereal. I love how they are intertwined and together create a lush and sensuous dry down. It is less bright than Lys Mediterranee, and the lily is less striking next to Lys Fume and Une Lys. However, I feel this adds to the composition rather than being a detraction, as the balance is beautiful in the end.


3.5/5
20th May, 2018

Armani Privé Iris Céladon by Giorgio Armani

Very nice, elegant look at Iris. It is tucked neatly in the heart. Working with the Ambrette it seems an accord of doughiness peeks through. The Mate identified as a scrubbed up Patchouli. A good pick if I didn't have the beautiful Au Dela Narcisse pardon me Feu Secret and elegant Luciano Pavarotti side by side.
20th May, 2018

Pacific Rock Moss by Goldfield & Banks

A lemony-fresh version of Acqua di Gio. Honestly, that's all I smell from beginning to end. It's nice, because AdG is also nice, but that's it basically.

Projection is weak so apply liberally and on clothes. Even then, it's hard to smell. Longevity is actually good for me, lasts all day.
20th May, 2018

Maxim's pour Homme by Maxims

A scent from yesteryear, with an aromatic-fruity opening leading to warm woods, leather, embellished with carnation and jasmine. It is well executed, but there is a surprising and somewhat bizarre honeyed sweetness that develops from the mid phase. I find this note to be rather jarring, and at odds with the rest of the composition. I do not enjoy it, and unfortunately, as it persists till the dry down, I end up not liking the scent.

Sillage and longevity are appreciable based on a moderate application. It isn't a very aggressive scent, is more approachable and worth trying if you fancy a conventional but well done masculine with a fruity-sweet twist.

3/5
20th May, 2018

Vétiver (new) by Carven

Whatever merits this release may have are buried beneath a massive note of Windex glass cleaner. I really can’t concentrate on much else. Who greenlighted this? I expect much more from Carven. It’s one of those scents that’s so poor it’s almost comical. Nothing like Lubin or Guerlain, not even close to my nose.
20th May, 2018

Viking by Creed

Stardate 20180519:

There is an accord (rose, patch and maybe ambergris) that Viking borrowed from Spice and Wood which in turn was borrowed from Voleur de Roses. I love that accord.
Viking starts spicy up top (cloves and pepper) but mellows down in an hour with the help of that accord.

One of the better ones from Creed (which is not saying much) but I will stick to my Voleur.
19th May, 2018 (last edited: 21st May, 2018)

Bel Ami Vetiver by Hermès

Take a best-selling classic, graft onto it a popular more contemporary note and call it a day. JC Ellena made it all look so easy. He basically phoned it in. That’s probably why they call him a ‘master perfumer’.

It seems ‘originality’ is no longer a requirement when you craft for an esteemed house. ‘Commercial success’ is the unspoken rule.

Once again Ellena delivered the goods. Bel Ami fans lapped it up. The cash registers kept ringing while Hermes bean-counters kept smiling. As pleasant as this smells on the surface it fails to hide the stench of cynicism running underneath.



19th May, 2018

Emporio Armani He by Giorgio Armani

Very subtle, clean, classic fragrance. Not much sweetness going on here so not very modern. Has a light greeness to it, kinda reminds me of Clinque Chemistry.

Light projection that's not bad over the first couple hours and then after 4-5 hours it gets very light.
19th May, 2018

Journey Man by Amouage

Stardate 20180519:

Sour pepper, some saffron and incense. Reminds me of hommage by lalique.
Not my thing and the sourness does not work for me in fragrances.
Pass.
19th May, 2018
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United Kingdom

Touch for Men by Burberry

The fruity citrus improession in the opening is combined with a violet that is later light and on the bright side.

The base adds a soft white pepper that is not particularly spicy on me. The base goes down the trodden path that Burberry’s perfumers seem to like: a nonspecific woodsy tone bathed is bland white musks.

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

This spring scent is quite pleasant, but quite pale and watery and very synthetic and generic in its ingredients. Middle-of-the-road indeed. 2.75/5.
19th May, 2018

Encens Divin by Givenchy

Before spraying on Encens Divin, I was a little concerned about how sharp the top notes (pepper and ginger) would be in the opening but as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. The opening was a slightly spicey resinous vanilla that reminded me of Ambre Tigré. Rose notes along with wood and incense followed soon afterwards. After a while, amber and treacle (molasses) notes came into play. A very nice olfactory experience.

Though I did enjoy Ambre Tigré, I would recommend saving your money and purchase Encens Divin instead as this is Ambre Tigré with a lot more depth.

Projection is around 6ft (2m) and is still noticable after 10 hours. Can easily be worn for any occasion - professional, leisure and intimate. During my first day of wearing Encens Divin, I received a few unsolicited compliments from co-workers.

Full bottle and signature scent worthy for both men and women.

10/10
18th May, 2018 (last edited: 21st May, 2018)

Wild Collection : Wild Rose Oud by Mancera

Anyone who knows anything about Pierre Montale, and he's a difficult nut to crack due to his elusive nature, knows that he's one of the key proponents to introducing aoud/oud/agarwood to western audiences. Through both his Montale and Mancera lines, one more Oriental in focus, one more European, he has carved out a wide swath in the upscale corner of the niche world, with his influence trickling down into designer and even drugstore realms with the use of oud bases. Perhaps his second favorite note to play with is rose, and it's found in many of his creations from either brand. Here in Mancera Wild Rose Aoud (2014), both are presented in very crisp, bold, uncompromising form, with the rest of the note pyramid focused on putting all eyes on them. Wild Rose Aoud shows itself removing most of the sweetness usually associated with a rose feminine, and tar-like eminence usually found in an oud masculine, making a truly unisex experience that is balanced enough that it might be seen as feminine, or masculine, depending on the standards of the wearer. Wild Rose Aoud achieves what most unisex scents fail at, since they ultimately suggest that they lean one way or the other. I think women will likely wear this more than men simply because of how stark and nakedly rose it is, as a man will have to be particularly infatuated with the flower to even enjoy this, and as a rose fan myself, I admit that even my tolerance here is tested. I like the stuff, but it's rose wielded like a shard of broken glass affixed with barb wire to a stick of studded agarwood. It's so crystalline in it's strength that it's name of "Wild Rose Aoud" is very deserving.

Most of the issue with Mancera Wild Rose Aoud starts with the brutal bergamot top, almost reminiscent of the 80's powerhouses, except not shielded by mossy bases or rich animalics like them, but beaming stark, bitter, almost ozonic in brightness (an effect usually achieved by grapefruit as it's just a tad sweeter). Once the nose gets past that screaming bergamot and lemon pairing, the Turkish rose stands up for it's turn in the spotlight, then never leaves. Seriously, I could end the review here because everything after the rose plays in the shadows, including the Egyptian jasmine and very dry patchouli in the middle. I can certainly smell the jasmine, and thanks to the bergamot-dominated top, is of the hedonic variety rather than indolic like one might expect. The base is of that signature aoud, but sterilized of it's murk and playing a role usually given to other woods and sometimes vetiver in these sort of compositions. It's clearly agarwood, and I can't describe it any different than that for those who haven't smelled the stuff, but it doesn't have the raunch nor little of the burnt flavor usually associated with the note. Amber, musk, and vanilla exist alongside the oud only to act as sort of a cushion for all the bitterness and razor-sharp almost thorny rose goodness on top. These base notes do little to keep this out of it's almost-ozonic territory, so folks not into nostril burn might want to steer clear. It's The Flight of the Valkyries if they all had roses in their hair as they descended upon you for the slaughter: majestic, terrifying, inescapable beauty and strength.

Mancera Wild Rose Aoud certainly isn't for everyone, and with a $180 MSRP, you have to be really certain you want to smell this way for a very long time, as the stuff once purchased goes a long way and it's very easy to over-apply since it sneaks up on you after it dries. If I had to compare this to designers for those not keen on niche scents, it takes the floral delicacy of Claiborne for Men (1989), and the sheer ozonic dryness of L'Eau de Issey Pour Homme (1994), and swaps the yuzu of the latter for less-exotic bergamot, then stuffs a bunch of roses in the middle in place of Claiborne's more varied florals, baking in the noonday sun with some sparkle borrowed from Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds (1991) and nearly-bleached oud. It's very early/mid 90's in it's presentation to me, so it wouldn't float for the old moss heads or chypre lovers, and could -almost- be a designer from that 90's period if not for it's ingredient quality and mutant strength (X-Men uniform not included). Wild Rose Aoud is best in spring or summer, and better worn outdoors than in, but should be relatively office-safe with careful application. Do not use this on clothing or the projection will never end and the scent will never calm. If dry, nearly acidic rose and oud sound like your cup of tea, this should do the trick. I give this a thumbs up for carving out and killing a specific craving for rose, but I do so with trepidation because this stuff can definitely put one in their place with it's "wildness", so enjoy responsibly.
18th May, 2018 (last edited: 19th May, 2018)
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