Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 132755

Le Gemme : Ambero by Bulgari

I was lucky enough to recently try a tester of this at the Bvlgari display in David Jones store in Sydney. The bottle itself wasn't on display as they will not be selling these until late February 2017, but the SA knew that I would be interested, so he bought out the tester bottles of this one, and the Onekh leather one and the Gyan jasmine/patchouli one.

The bottles are stunning in person and are a nice counter-point to the female Le Gemme series.

Ambero starts out very Oriental. The ginger, saffron and pepper are all distinguishable and soon the fragrance settles on the skin as a comfortable and familiar amber style of fragrance. Unlike a lot of other amber fragrances on the market, this one is not paired with tonka, vanilla or any type of dried fruit. However the familiarity I think comes from the recently released Colonia Ambra from Acqua di Parma.

As to longevity and sillage, I can't yet comment as I've only been wearing this for 2 hours. However, these are all EDP's so I would hope both would be considerable.

Of the 3 I tried I think that Gyan is the most unique and probably full bottle worthy.
19th January, 2017

Bois du Portugal by Creed

Bois du Portugal is one of the top members of the Creed-dynasty on the side of Vintage Tabarome, Cuir de Russie, Green Irish Tweed, Royal English Leather and few others. A super classic really masculine gentlemen-fragrance with a stout smoky woody-leathery initial assault (yet luxurious and royal due to a decadent hesperidic vibe), a green-spicy core (aromatic, vaguely minty, lemony-cologney and musky) and a luxurious "stuffy-retro" victorian final vibe a la Aramis JHL, Guerlain Mitsouko or Clinique Aromatics Elixir (with a restrained virile twist afforded by woods and spicy ambergris). Bergamot, aromatic lavender, astringent cedar, piquant ambergris and powdery woods unfold a quite classic-barbershop vibe in the middle between the great French chypre tradition, the 80's powerful aromatic fougere and the rosey-laundry victorian British olfactory historic school. Dry down is a gorgeous mix of powdery-mossy vaguely rosey woods (chypre, green-minty and poudree), spicy-hesperidic ambergris (piquant and virile) and stuffy powdery/hesperidic earthiness. An "ethernal" aristocratic fragrance (evocative about Royal Gardens) which will make you lording over all the other "lofty-affected" banqueters at Royal Court.
18th January, 2017

Fallen Leaves by Anna Zworykina Perfumes

I sampled half a dozen of the Zworykina perfumes, having read an approving review by Luca Turin. This was the one I could relate to the most.

Like Turin I am not normally enthusiastic about natural perfumes as they arguably impose an unnatural constraint on creativity. However, like him I feel they should be supported and encouraged along with home make cake and home brewed beer.

Fallen leaves does not smell precisely like fallen leaves; for some thoughts on how a more accurate rendering might may be attempted see the basenotes discussion. Without GCMS facilities it is probably very difficult. However, the Zworykina product does go some way towards meeting the concept in the abstract sense.

Smelling it blind (to avoid bias) I had the impression of a sophisticated lavender composition, like the mens fragrances of years ago. Probably with some lavender absolute, I thought. Reading the ingredient list I noted there is no lavender, though tonka is mentioned, which is possibly where the overlap occurred.

Overall, Fallen Leaves is a smooth and harmonious fragrance and pleasing to the senses, so I have given it the thumbs up. I remain to be convinced about all-natural perfumery, though.
18th January, 2017
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Ambre Fétiche by Annick Goutal

This opening blast is quite something! Burning smoky rubber, leather, hints of latex, some benzoin with resinous birchtar - a delightful blend of rough smoky leather. At that stage the amber is more like a backdrop on this dramatic olfactory canvas.

The core principle underlying the development of the drydown is: lose the rough edges gradually, introduce a floral component, mainly iris, and see the amber increase in intensity and its presence over time gradually. Over time this turns into a warm, glowing and smooth amber, which dominates the base and peters out gradually.

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

The first stage is very convincing, albeit of less high quality than, for instance, Knize Ten, and with a somwhat contrived leather impression, but nonetheless well crafted. The later stages with the amber in the centre of their development are also lovely, but a bit more linear. Overall a rather nice product. 3.5/5.

18th January, 2017

Montana Parfum d'Homme (original) by Montana

Stardate 20170117:

I don't know what I can add here that has not already been covered by the ambassador of this fragrance Monsieur Montana.
It is a great masculine fragrance. As already pointed out by DuNezDeBuzier, this is similar to Havana in structure. I find some Jacomo de Jacomo in it too.
Patch, spices and manliness in a bottle that will not break the bank.
17th January, 2017

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

From start to finish I love this scent (my wife on the other hand HATES IT). Any who some scents I wear for my personal enjoyment. As for the scent... it is a stunner. Strong at the start with gourmandish spices and a sweet honey like tobacco... the middle is also an amazing mix of vanilla and tobacco with a hint of tonka and cocoa to my nose. The dry down of woods with lingering vanilla and tobacco is simply amazing. A scent that will remain in my collection for as long as it's made (even if the price is slightly prohibitive). Enjoy!
17th January, 2017

Midnight in the Palace Garden by 4160 Tuesdays

It's an oud perfume. Nothing groundbreaking if I'm honest, nothing too offensive either. In the dry down it turns from a strong oud to more of a woody number. I don't really notice the flower elements, there is a sweet element to it. I think its easily worn by both men and women, but it's not the most remarkable or interesting ouds there. It's nicely blended though

Longevity is surprising short, after 4 hours it became much harder to detect. I used about 0.5 ml so I'm surprised it goes so quickly.
17th January, 2017
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Jubilation 25 by Amouage

The opening notes, a brightish rose with ylang-ylang, davana and a hesperidic touch, are pleasant and well balanced with their sweetness that is not too heavy. The drydown adds whiffs of incense, tarragon and a slightly herbal cistus undertone.

The base adds a bit of a somewhat nondescript fruitiness, vetiver, but is also characterised by a very soft myrrhe compenent that is intertwined with a fairy generic soft patchouli.

I get moderate sillage, strong projection and eleven hours of longevity on my skin.

Thr first half of this autumnal creation, good especially for evenings, is dense and intensive, whilst the later parts are a touch less vivid and duller. Overall a nice creation and not without interesting ideas, and performing extremely well. 3.5/5.
17th January, 2017

Cambodi 10-yr Aged Oud by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi

Not a fragrance but a product of pure distillation. Another dark-smoky potion from this specialized "Middle Eastern perfumery brand" as product of pure distillations of woody resins formed as a result of natural infections affecting several species of Aquilaria (agarwood) evergreen trees. Along the time these infections naturally cause the trees to produce a really viscous resin as a by-product due to attack this infection. Oudh is the "outcome" of this "ancient" woody resins' distillation-process. Even in this case this arcane potion is mouldy as a dark cave studded inside by extinguished bonfires, mossy moulds, stale humidity and burnt odorous woody-rubbery resins. Just for the straightforward lovers of this "hard extreme" genre. A "fumidus" hyper dry woody potion (yet vaguely petroleous) a la Montale Dark Aoud (being the latter on the contrary anyway synthetic) but natural, far more realistic, stark and liturgically ritual. A stinky bitter-licoricey supremely woody "odor". A medieval kind of ghostly "miasma" heralding images of fortified citadels, steel swords, steamy castles, battlefields, warriors barbarians, bronze armatures and knights-errant.
16th January, 2017

Versace pour Homme Dylan Blue by Versace

Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue is a spicy/woody/aquatic based on a central accord of piquant spices, citrus, violet, sharp salty woods and mineral ozonics. The first blast is like a photocopy of the "sadly departed" Byblos Uomo (this is the good news, many notes in common indeed: musk, bergamot, lavender, ambrox, violet, spices, patchouli, aromatic herbs, mineral-ozonic notes, sharp woods etc. I see in this phase also a tad of Chopard Heaven, Paco Rabanne Invictus, Bond N. 9 I Love NY for Him and Chanel Bleu) but after five minutes the mainstream stark salty-gassy woodiness (which is taking the world by storm by now) starts screaming out peppery-dusty (even more salty and gassy, like a crazy schizophrenic oceanic kind of Bvlgari Man Extreme ideally joined to a whichever "crunchy" Givenchy Gentlemen Only or Dior Sauvage) with my huge bored disappointment. Nothing more to add. Not for me.
16th January, 2017
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Vanille Tonka by Nicolaï

This vanilla-tonka dyad is the golden thread and core of this composition, enriched ny undertones if mandarine and orange flower that balance out the vanilla sweetness. Interestingly, whilst clearly sweet, this one in never sticky or cloying on my skin; it is endowed with a touch of slimness and elegance.

This opening mix sheds the citrus is the drydown, in order to replace it with a smooth and gentle frankincense, with a veil of a mildly honeyed cinnamon veil draped over it. With time the tonka - admixed with whiffs of the incense - wins out and becomes more dominant until the end.

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

This scent for warmer winter days is smooth and comforting whilst never being heavy. During the first half is remains a bit too restrained and too thin, but with times it becomes more intensive. Whilst not ultra-creative, it is solidly made, some ingredients are of high quality, and the overall impression is on the positive side - but with a wafer-thin margin. 3.25/5.
16th January, 2017
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Rock Crystal by Olivier Durbano

A hersperidic undertone is combined with layers of cumin, coriander, cardamom, cistus and cumin - the result is crisp, mineralic composition, with an peppery incense, not too ceremonial and with a touch of smokiness, but overall a bright, tart and acrylic mix. Creative and convincing.

The drydown, however, only brings out small and nuanced developments, like floral tones, touches of pencil shavings and, later on, a slant of the incense towards the less peppery and towards a myrrh impression.

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

This scent for warmer autumn days is original and well crafted. Whilst being somewhat underwhelming and a tad too synthetic in the later stages, and being a touch linear in spite of its formidable complexity, this creation incorporates original touches and ideas. 3.25/5.
15th January, 2017

Memento Mori by Aftelier

If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’re probably aware that I favor the weird and the challenging. While this isn’t the place to justify my rationale, I will say that I’m not into weird for weird’s sake; I come at perfume from two angles: the functional and the experiential. While the former is the norm (a scent you wear in a traditional manner), the latter (a scent you study and explore as a discrete aesthetic) is usually where I turn for innovation or drama. Innovation, by nature, should be discomforting in some way as it’s about change, but innovation must also be coherent and make sense. Aftelier’s recent Memento Mori falls squarely into this category and excels at the effect it produces.

I’ve never had the opportunity to try any of Mandy Aftel’s perfumes mainly due to availability and cost, but I was able to get my nose on a fellow perfume writer’s sample. A tiny dab to the back of my hand kept me engrossed for hours, and while sniffing other scents throughout the night, I kept returning to the spot where I applied it — the mark of an intriguing composition. Be warned: this is a difficult scent, but it’s also quite heartrending. It opens with visceral ripe cheese note, breaking away about twenty minutes later into a fleshy mix of clean sweat, salty butter, and semi-sweet decomposition. Throughout, there’s a steady cardboard-like impression that sometimes stems from iris as well as an incidental floral note to keep things from going too dark. The scent’s as mesmerizing as it is disturbing. It’s not just carnal; it’s animalic but in an atavistic, primitive manner. While it pushes the envelope in ways you can’t really prepare yourself for, every aspect of it feels calculated, intentional, and curiously comforting. It’s long lasting and hums with low sillage, but scents like this really aren’t about traditional metrics. Memento Mori is compulsory for anyone interested in what scents can accomplish beyond the realm of perfume niceties. A great introduction to a line I’ve been curious to check out for some time, and this is one I’ll be seeking out in some capacity or another to smell again as I can’t get it out of my mind.
15th January, 2017
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Habit Rouge by Guerlain

I just tried the EDT sample of this and it was so much better than I could have expected.

On my skin it is very fresh and green with florals that are present but never in the forefront of the scent. What is in the forefront is the very waxy vanilla. I actually thought I was smelling my cosmetics, but somehow I enjoyed smelling like a candle. I am eager to try the EDP version and see what happens.

The longevity was impressive for a green scent, but only about 6 hours.
15th January, 2017

Daisy by Marc Jacobs

Like a girl in a white, flowy dress who prances around in a field full of white little flowers in a bright, sunny day with blue skies. This is the image that comes to my mind when I smell this fragrance on me. It's happy, carefree, fun, innocent, and sunny. The only reason I don't really care to buy it is because it is a straight-up floral (I'm more into the sophisticated misterious scents). The bottle looks exactky how it smells. I didn't find any violets in it though. Perhaps it really would have been a winner for me had I smelled some violet in it.
15th January, 2017

Stella by Stella McCartney

This is a rose perfume. Sorry, but I don't like it. The bottle is classy though.
15th January, 2017

Versace pour Femme Oud Oriental by Versace

Wow. My results were exactly the opposite of the other review. I got a kind of mellow oud fragrance with some spice and general warmth. It wasn't the spring floral I was hoping for but it was exactly as the name suggested -- an oriental with oud. --- And it Lasted all day long. I'm definitely revisiting this one in the fall.
15th January, 2017

Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo

Careful girls, this I sickly sweet, too much for me to handle. It passed my sweetness threshold. I can't wear it on my neck, it's just too cloying and on a weak day it may make me throw up.
15th January, 2017

Prada Candy by Prada

It's a simply sweet, candy-like scent, but it's a sweetness that makes me smile and doesn't make me throw up. I find it tolerable on the sweetness scale. Very nice.
15th January, 2017

La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme

I have got to say that this is THE STRONGEST perfume I've ever owned. I own and have owned many perfumes, but this one tops the list of the strongest. It lasts for about three days on me, yes I said 3, it has that much lasting power. Let me tell you, if you're not ready for this, then don't buy it, it can be very clingy. It's sweet. There are some days that I cannot wear it, I have to be in the mood and with a strong stomach to wear it. It can be very overwhelming, so please, only spray a little bit and on parts of the body that are away from the face, like the wrists and the backs of your knees. Not for the office. It's a night time perfume. It's nice though too strong.
15th January, 2017

Crystal Noir by Versace

Wow, I absolutetely love this fragrance! It's right up my alley. I smelled it on someone and fell in love right then and there. I had to ask her what she was wearing. She was so amazed by how much I loved it that she gifted me a bottle.
It's sexy, soft yet strong, perfect for dressing up beautiful at night while on a romantic outing. Definitely a nightime perfume. It lasts for a long time even after you shower. Great quality, great sillage. You'll get noticed and most probably-- liked.
It has a slight smell of roses, but I hate rose perfumes, so I don't want to sound like this is one of them, not at all.
It smells nothing like Versace Bright Crystal, in fact, it's the total opposite of it. It's intoxicating and inviting, you'll love it!
15th January, 2017

Sienne L'Hiver by Eau d'Italie

Reviews (elsewhere) had built this one up high; I half expected a misconstrued, ahead-of-its-time masterpiece. Upon trying it, I see no originality, alas there is still nothing new under the sun. Its iris is a carbon copy of Dzongkha, with very little to differentiate, throughout the drawn-out opening. I'll downplay the "olive/truffle/celery" accords...maybe I was expecting it too much based on other reviews (it's there, although I didn't find if off-putting or over the top). I enjoy the dry down most; I get a tastefully austere amber and wood, and this part seems to last, yet not project much.
15th January, 2017

Versace pour Homme Oud Noir by Versace

This is Saudi an original Oud sniff, smoking Agarwood in an incent burner, and then wrap a leather jacket around you, this is purely a cooler weather scent is you are not use to Oud in a pure form, those that say it's synthetic have never smelt true Oud but to each his or her own pretend all you please but I think Versace got it right on this one.
15th January, 2017

Arpège pour Homme by Lanvin

Sweet and slightly spiced vanilla. Reminds me of Michael Jordan Legend and little bit. Not bad, just a little too sweet for me.
15th January, 2017

Gentlemen Only Intense by Givenchy

Uhhgghh...Horrific. Smells like Playdoh. Not gonna put this on ever again. Thumbs way down.
15th January, 2017

Gentlemen Only by Givenchy

This is okay. I like it better than many designer frags I've tried. I picked up a slight cinnamon edge that I liked. It's just a bit sweeter than I was hoping. I'm going to try it again before I make a decision on whether or not it's bottle worthy or not.
15th January, 2017

Black Pepper by Comme des Garçons

I smell the black pepper immediately and this rolls into a very dark woods merging of perpper/woods that reminds me of the smell of wenge wood or some other dark hardwood that has an oily peat moss dark seriousness. There is softness to follow the woods (tonka, musk) but the character of the fragrance is all black pepper and serious darkwood or pepperwood. The fragrance is a little shallow with only a few things to dwell upon in its development so to get more out of the experience I tried an extra spray or two and it works very well. Smells great! Black Pepper by Comme des Garcons is as fine a fragrance to fill the edgeless ovoidal CDG bottle design since Wonderwood.
14th January, 2017 (last edited: 15th January, 2017)

Gentlemen Only Casual Chic by Givenchy

Initially I was going to give this a a thumbs-up, but I'm disappointed by the synthetic vibe here, and from virtually every designer brand fragrance I try. This does have some nice woodiness to it in a way. The best part is the juniper in the opening, but I don't like cardamon, so it was a love/hate opening for me. Now three hours in I'm getting a synthetic musky smell, which I don't dig either. I think I'm going to have to switch to a neutral rating...just not quite a bottle worthy frag in my opinion.
14th January, 2017

Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker

When I first sniffed this, it was a no-go thanks to a dominant milky-sour baby-vomit note that makes perfumes like Gucci Rush, Kate Walsh Boyfriend, and Samsara such deal breakers for me.

But the second time around, the grapefruit, pepper, and sage took over after the initial blast of yuck, and the dry down—a smoky, leathery vanilla—played a very pretty tune, too.

Too bad this intriguing scent doesn't last all that long. Maybe a couple hours, and even at its strongest it sticks so close to my skin as to be almost pointless.

14th January, 2017

Sex Appeal for Men by Jovan

Well I'll say this for Jovan's Sex Appeal for Men...

Through merging patchouli and amber,this does make a very sensual base to a cologne.I get a light sweetness to this cologne that smells similar to cinnamon...but in a gummy way.It seemed to only last about 3 hours on my skin.Starting out with medium projection and rapidly declining after a little over 30 min. of application.I quit wearing it at work and saved it more for social gatherings.

Point blank:
This cologne under the Jovan line by Coty,I used to be content with despite poor longevity..I liked the scent.After all Sex Appeal for Men was commonly seen in drugstores and it stood out in its scent among the other colognes enjoyed by fellow working class men in a rural community of the pre-internet era.I learned many years later this was nothing more than a later released and scaled down in notes version of Pierre Cardin's Pour Monsieur cologne.Pierre Cardin is now cheaper than it's Jovan competitor.It smells much more colorful,last much longer,and cheaper than Sex Appeal for Men...get the Pierre Cardin.
14th January, 2017